best books for a 7th grade book report

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The Best Book-Report Books for Middle Schoolers

No need to dread a book report! When kids find titles that are engaging, interesting, and thought-provoking, they're hooked. If it's fiction, students can dissect plot, theme, and characters. If it's nonfiction, they can plunge into a subject that fascinates them or learn a lot about something they've never heard of before. Here's a list of surefire selections for students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. For even more ideas, check out 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They're 12 .

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Poster Image

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Inspiring wartime journal reveals teen's inner life.

The Apothecary, Book 1 Poster Image

The Apothecary, Book 1

Cold War kids use magic to save world in brilliant novel.

Everything Sad Is Untrue: (A True Story) Poster Image

Everything Sad Is Untrue: (A True Story)

Young refugee's story is told in memories, myths, fables.

Goodbye Stranger Poster Image

Goodbye Stranger

Bittersweet, lovely story of friendship and social media.

Genesis Begins Again Poster Image

Genesis Begins Again

Teen learns to love herself in uplifting tale of misfits.

Hatchet Poster Image

Hold on tight for an intense tale of survival.

A Long Walk to Water Poster Image

A Long Walk to Water

Touching take on Lost Boys of Sudan, based on true story.

One Crazy Summer Poster Image

One Crazy Summer

A gem, with strong girl characters, '60s black history.

Parked Poster Image

Poverty, being unhoused explored in hopeful tale.

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights Poster Image

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights

Little-known disaster gets overdue, in-depth treatment.

The Red Badge of Courage Poster Image

The Red Badge of Courage

Compelling Civil War novel questions morality of battle.

Uglies: Uglies Quartet, Book 1 Poster Image

Uglies: Uglies Quartet, Book 1

Thoughtful sci-fi about the price of beauty.

Weedflower Poster Image

Interned girl, Native boy find common ground in moving tale.

All-American Muslim Girl Poster Image

All-American Muslim Girl

Captivating coming-of-age tale explores identity, racism.

American Ace Poster Image

American Ace

Moving, fast-paced novel-in-verse; great for teen boys.

Bomb: The Race to Build -- and Steal -- the World's Most Dangerous Weapon Poster Image

Bomb: The Race to Build -- and Steal -- the World's Most Dangerous Weapon

Complex, suspenseful story of developing The Bomb.

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club Poster Image

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club

Thrilling true story of teenagers who stood up to the Nazis.

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings Poster Image

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings

Poignant memoir-in-verse recalls Cuban American's childhood.

Long Way Down Poster Image

Long Way Down

Gripping, unnerving story of teen boy contemplating revenge.

My Name Is Not Easy Poster Image

My Name Is Not Easy

Fascinating story of Alaskan kids growing up in the 1960s.

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The Best Books for 7th Graders

best books for a 7th grade book report

You’ll notice that the best books for seventh graders tend to veer into upper middle-grade territory. That’s the case with the books on this list. I have so many beloved upper middle-grade books and I’ll link to the full list at the bottom of this post, but this list also has several books I have never recommended on the blog before.

Seventh graders are on the brink of teenage life, and may relate most strongly to books about body image, crushes, and things like that. They’re also more able to tolerate tastefully done stories about sexual harassment, domestic violence, addiction, serious mental illness and other harsh, unpleasant realities of life. On this list, you’ll find books that hit all of these themes. Of course, as always mentioned, seventh graders can always read up or down. They can read and enjoy many of the books I’ve recommended for 6th graders and 5th graders , as well as books for 8th graders .

a selection of great books for 7th graders

Excellent Books for 7th Graders to Enjoy

Here are some of my favorite books for 7th graders:

cover of middle grade book, Genesis Begins Again - books for seventh graders

Genesis Begins Again

Published: January 15, 2019

Thirteen-year-old Genesis grapples with intense self-hate worsened by her father’s verbal abuse and her grandmother’s backward ideologies about skin color. Readers first meet Genesis when she brings her “friends” home for the first time. In an embarrassing turn of events, they arrive to meet all her belongings in the street. The landlord has put Genesis’s family out because her gambling, alcoholic father defaulted on the rent,  again . Things seem to look up for their family when they move into a posh neighborhood. Genesis makes new friends, joins the school choir, and even gets a helpful math tutor. Yet, her self-hate follows her. This is a remarkable middle-grade debut with a strong message about colorism, self-love, and  the power of music .

The Wrong Way Home

The Wrong Way Home

Published: April 2, 2024

This book is mind-blowingly good. Fern and her mother have been living on The Ranch, under the thumb of a charismatic leader named Ben. But her mom has been acting off, and Ben has put her on a water fast to help her get readjusted. One day, Fern’s mother wakes her in the middle of the night and takes her across the country from NY to CA, where they live in a motel in her mother’s teenage neighborhood and adjust back to normal life. There’s only one problem: Fern hatches a plan to return to The Ranch because she thinks her mom has made a mistake. I loved the way this book explores cults in an accessible way for tween readers, and Fern is a highly realistic character I think will resonate with a lot of kids. Readers should know that one side character in this book is gay and another is non-binary.

The Liars Society

The Liars Society

Published: February 6, 2024

Weatherby is a new kid at a Boston private school. She’s at the school on a sailing scholarship and immediately is thrust into a world she knows nothing about. Old school phone booths, scrambled phone service at school, friends with kids who go to the country club, and a boy who seems to hate her guts. Jack is a rich kid at the school who is also on the sailing team and is constantly pressured by his father to be the best. When the money for a famed school trip is stolen, Jack, Weatherby, and some of their friends are invited to play a high-stakes secret game that leads to the revelation of shocking family secrets. This suspenseful mystery, told from Jack’s and Weatherby’s perspectives, is fast-paced and high-stakes, perfect for the upper middle-grade crowd.

Twin Cities: (A Graphic Novel)

Twin Cities

Published: July 19, 2022

Twins Luisa and Fernando find their paths diverging as they enter sixth grade. Luisa will attend middle school in the US just across the border from Fernando’s school in Mexico. There, they face different but equally pressing challenges that threaten to tear them apart. Twin Cities  is a fascinating look into Mexican culture, life as a twin, and finding your own identity.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Saint Ivy: Kind at All Costs

Published: May 18, 2021

Thirteen-year-old Ivy needs to be good to people, even when it’s bad for her. That’s why she pretends to be okay with her mom being a gestational surrogate, a kid at school asking her to let him copy her homework, and never sharing her problems with her friends. But can she keep up the pretense? With a touch of mystery and plenty of heart, this is a thought-provoking novel about people pleasing and being true to oneself.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Life in the Balance

Published: February 16, 2021

Veronica’s life seemed like it was on track until her parents announced that her mom is going to rehab for alcoholism. Her mom who was a softball player when she was younger, her mom the lawyer, her mom who was supposed to help her and her friends practice for softball tryouts. Veronica is frustrated, sad, worried, and even angry at her mom for being unable to stop drinking. She also worries that things will never be the same again. So she throws herself into softball — their family sport — even though she isn’t sure she’s all that into it anymore. At the same time, she’s afraid to share her family’s secret with her best friend (whose parents are getting divorced). Will Veronica ever find a balance? This is a rare portrayal of alcoholism, addiction and rehabilitation in the family — especially in a parent.

All You Knead Is Love

All You Knead Is Love

Published: March 30, 2021

All You Knead Is Love  follows 12-year-old Alba whose mother forces her to move from NYC to Barcelona, Spain where her grandmother lives. Alba is gender non-conforming, which means that she doesn’t like the typical “girly” dresses or frilly tops her parents often want her to wear. She’s happiest in her jeans and t-shirts. Alba’s father is physically abusive, especially towards her mother, and generally treats Alba with disregard. When Alba arrives Barcelona, she’s quickly drawn in by the vibrant city and its warm people, one of whom is her grandmother. But just when Alba begins to get comfortable, Toni’s bakery is threatened with closure because it just isn’t earning enough money. Alba needs to find a way to save the hub of her newfound community. This is a heartwarming middle-grade novel about identity, family, community, and, of course, food.

Best Books for Seventh Graders - we dream of space

We Dream of Space

Published: May 5, 2020

Siblings Cash, Fitch, and Bird move through the daily trials of pre-teen life in the 1980’s. Fitch and Bird are twins who are now in the same grade as their older brother, Cash — because Cash was held back in the seventh grade. Bird is a space aficionado and dreams of being an astronaut. Fitch has anger issues and hates that he’s getting crushed on by a girl he doesn’t like — and whom his best friends consider unattractive. Cash feels lost and cannot seem to find his place anywhere. It doesn’t help that the situation at home is tense, with parents who are constantly bickering and a family that cannot seem to make time to talk as a unit or nurture their children. Bird is eagerly anticipating the Challenger launch and is a huge fan of Judith Resnik — the Challenger’s Mission Specialist. This novel follows the siblings until the ill-fated launch day which changes their relationship forever. This character-driven slice-of-life novel shows how different families can be, addresses the struggles of navigating sibling relationships, and highlights what difference an enthusiastic teacher can make.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Maizy Chen’s Last Chance

Published: February 1, 2022

Maizy and her mother have returned to Last Chance, Minnesota, because Maizy’s grandfather is ill. Maizy’s mom had her with the help of a sperm donor, and she seems to have taken a less traditional, unexpected career route since her parents expected her to take over their historical Chinese restaurant, The Golden Palace. However, Maizy’s grandparents love her, and Maizy quickly bonds with them, especially her grandfather. One day, she sees pictures of several young Chinese men, and when she asks her grandfather about them, he begins to tell her a sprawling story about their family’s history in Last Chance, which is interwoven with love, racism, and community. At the same time, The Golden Palace experiences a hate crime, and Maizy is shocked to discover who the perpetrator is. This is a spellbinding middle grade book about one Chinese family’s heritage and the granddaughter who ties it all together. 

more to the story - books for seventh graders

More to the Story

Published: September 3, 2019

More to the Story  is a modern middle-grade novel inspired by the classic novel,  Little Women. Four Muslim-American sisters, Jamee la, Maryam, Bisma, and Aleeza, are distraught when their dad has to go abroad for six months for a job. Thirteen-year-old Jam, as she is fondly called has just become the features editor for her school’s newspaper. She’s determined to impress her dad with her first story. At the same time, a family friend’s nephew, Ali moves from the UK to Atlanta. As Jam and Ali’s friendship blossoms, one of her sisters receives devastating news about her health. This is a heartwarming, charming middle-grade novel about sisterhood, family, and following your passion, perfect for fans of books like Little Women .

best books for a 7th grade book report

Published: September 7, 2021

In the aftermath of her little brother’s death, Lucy and her parents move to a small town that is still healing from a school shooting four years ago. It’s jarring for Lucy to be around all these kids who lost friends when they were in the third grade, but it’s even harder because, unlike the situation in her home, the kids talk a lot about the shooting, their grief, and seeing therapists. But in all their sharing, the students have cast the shooter’s younger sister and their classmate, Avery — whom Lucy befriends — as an outsider. Will Lucy ever find her place and deal with her grief? Aftermath  is a powerful, heartbreaking, and hopeful middle grade book about the impact of school shootings, grief, and friendships.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Partly Cloudy

Things are looking partly cloudy for Madalyn Thomas and her family. After being out of work for the last 7 months, her dad has found work in another state and her mom’s schedule as a social worker has become more packed from taking on overtime. Madalyn’s parents send her to live with her Great Uncle Papa Lobo during the week to allow her to attend school in a different district because of security issues at her former school. But as the  only Black girl in class , Madalyn faces a new set of challenges at this new school. Partly Cloudy  is an insightful middle grade story about family, community, and handling microaggressions in middle school.

Counting Thyme

Counting Thyme

Published: April 12, 2016

I loved this story about a family dealing with a cancer-fighting child and finding the balance to be good parents to all three of their kids. If you love books that tackle hard situations with a hopeful lens and sibling stories set in NYC, you’ll adore Conklin’s debut.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero

Yusuf Azeem is not a hero like his dad who talked down a gunman in their small-town A-Z Dollar Store. But his dad’s heroism doesn’t prevent him from getting worsening hateful notes in his locker telling him to “Go Home.” Yusuf and his friend Danial had expected that this would be their year — their entry into middle school and a chance to compete in a robotics contest. However, when some of the townspeople, including a group called the Patriot Sons try to stop the construction of their town’s mosque and begin to target Yusuf and other Muslims in the community, they are forced to take a stand. This is a poignant  look at the impact of 9/11 on Muslim communities  in America.


Published: October 18, 2022

Five kids form an unlikely friend group at the start of a new school year with surprising results. Lucas is processing his older brother’s death and his mom leaving his dad and him, Robbie is the group goofball with his own challenges, Finn is the walking encyclopedia, Cat is the star athlete, and Anna is the popular girl whose drawn to the group. As the kids play sardines (reverse hide-and-seek), they learn about each other’s most wanted wishes and plot to help each one get them. But when it’s Lucas’s turn, he’s afraid to bare his soul. Can he get past the fear and make his own wish come true? Sardines  is a heartwarming middle grade novel about friendship, mental health, bullying, identity, and community. 

the prettiest

The Prettiest

Published: April 14, 2020

Eve, Sophie, and Nessa are three different girls in Ford middle-school whose lives are changed when their names appear on “ The Prettiest ” list posted online by someone called “LordTesla.” Sophie is the Queen Bee of middle school, and Eve is the bookworm and poetry aficionado who’s started wearing her brother’s sports jerseys to hide her changing body. Nessa is a plus-sized theater geek with a melodious voice who experiences a slew of emotions — indifference, annoyance, disgust at beauty standards — when she realizes her name didn’t even make the list. The three girls band together in an unlikely friendship to find the person who made the list and make him face the consequences of his actions. This a powerful look at female objectification and sexual harassment in middle school.

How to Find What You're Not Looking For - books for seventh graders

How to Find What You’re Not Looking For

Published: September 14, 2021

This book follows 12-year-old Ariel whose life is upturned when her big sister (the best of them all), Leah, elopes with her Indian-American boyfriend after the  Loving vs. Virginia  ruling. Ariel’s parents are upset, Ariel is struggling with being able to write well at school, and she can’t stop thinking about her sister and everything happening in the world. How to Find What You’re Not Looking For  is a poignant, moving, and brilliantly written middle grade novel about family, identity, and love.

Averil Offline

Averil Offline

Published: February 13, 2024

Averil’s mom and several parents of kids in her school and neighborhood use an app called Ruby Slippers to track their kids’ location, request video and photos from them on demand, and generally monitor their behavior and actions all day and Averil and her classmate Max are sick of it. Especially when they find out that the app will be updated soon to let parents remotely turn on their kids’ cameras at will. Both kids make a plot to ditch a camping trip and find the original app developer, Rider Wollybeck, in hopes of asking him to rescind the update. This hijinks-filled story is reminiscent of classic stories where kids run away to save the day as Max and Averil stay on their town’s college campus, eating at the cafeteria and sleeping in the library for the 2-3 days needed to accomplish their plan. I love the gentle mystery, STEM angle, and theme of childhood autonomy this book explores. I think it has major kid appeal — and it’s only 208 pages long!

that's what friends do cathleen barnhart

That’s What Friends Do

Published: January 28, 2020

Sammie and David are best friends who first met at Little League. As the only girl on the baseball team, Sammie enjoys being one of the guys, and she and David get along excellently. She’s convinced herself that she’s just better at being friends with the boys. Things are great until a new boy, Luke, moves into the neighborhood. Luke is taller than David and keeps trying to flirt with Sammie even though it obviously makes her uncomfortable. While Sammie looks to David for support, David — who has a crush on Sammie — is preoccupied with being jealous of Luke’s seemingly “smooth” skills. As a result, David starts to focus on making his affection known to Sammie, just as Luke seems to be doing. Eventually, an incident on the bus between David and Sammie jeopardizes their friendship and forces Sammie to re-examine the meaning of true friendship. I loved everything about this wonderful, wholesome story.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Violets Are Blue

Published: October 12, 2021

12-year-old Wren lives with her mom after her parents’ divorce. Her dad has moved to New York City and married his lover (with whom he was unfaithful to her mother), who is now expecting twins. Wren is also a special effects makeup aficionado. Caught up in a new school, navigating new friendships, and balancing her relationships with her parents — whose relationship with each other is strained — Wren notices her mom has begun behaving strangely. Violets Are Blue is an engaging middle-grade book with a relatable, creative protagonist dealing with parental substance abuse.

12 to 22

12 to 22 (POV: You Wake Up in the Future)

Published: August 16, 2022

On her 12th half birthday, her parents surprisingly gift her their approval to post on social networks. Thrilled, Harper starts posting TikTok videos like her idol, Blake Riley. Her first video goes viral and brings her closer to the popular crew in her school who only befriend her so she can teach them her edits. Their interest in her creates a rift between Harper and her best friend Ava. In the midst of the chaos, Harper tries a TikTok filter, which, combined with a wish to be 22, suddenly makes her 22! Unfortunately, her future is much different than she imagined. Is being 22 as great as she imagined? Or will she just want her old life back? And can she even get it back? Or is it too late? This is a charming, light,  feel-good story  about  time travel , social media, and treasuring friendships.

Across the Desert

Across the Desert

12-year-old Jolene has a tough life. Her mom is misusing opioids and can barely care for her. She’s mocked at school for wearing too-small clothing and looking haggard. Jolene’s only bright spot is a tween pilot she watches via livestream at the library, “Addie Earhart.” Addie and Jolene gradually form a warm friendship and encourage each other through life’s hardships. But one day during the livestream, Addie crashes her plane. No one but Jolene is watching the stream, and Addie’s mom doesn’t know she even flies planes. It’s up to Jolene to save her, but she’s a kid with no money — and Addie’s is stuck miles away in the Arizona desert. This is a heart-pounding middle grade novel about self-worth, friendships, and the struggle of a parent with addiction.

A Perfect Mistake

A Perfect Mistake

Published: July 12, 2022

Max and his community are reeling from a night out gone wrong. Max and his friends Joey and Will went out with two older boys, but Will ended up unconscious and in a coma, and Joey won’t speak to Max anymore. Max also has ADHD and is over six feet tall at 11, which means he stands out in his class. Frustrated that he can’t figure out what happened to Will, Max teams up with an inquisitive classmate, but the truths he unravels aren’t pretty. Can Max get to the bottom of this mystery? A Perfect Mistake  is a pitch-perfect  middle grade mystery  about honesty, peer pressure, and standing up for what’s right. 


Published: July 5, 2022

Marianne Blume has convinced herself that she’s not smart. She’s gotten through school so far by charming teachers out of questioning her. But her eighth-grade teacher, Mr. Garcia, isn’t easily fooled. To pull up her grades for high school, Marianne tries to win his favor by joining the school’s trivia team (which he coaches). But as the term progresses, Marianne bonds with the trivia kids and learns that there’s more to being smart than book smart — but also, she’s more intelligent than she gives herself credit for. Bright  is a deeply insightful book about labels, persistence, and self-belief, featuring themes like sisterhood, female friendships, and family.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Wishing Upon the Same Stars

This debut middle-grade novel by Arab-American author Jacquetta Nammar Feldman follows young Palestinian-American Yasmeen Khoury, whose parents move from Detroit (which has a thriving Arab-American community) to San Antonio, Texas, where there are few to no other Arab-American families. But just before Yasmeen despairs, she discovers that their next-door neighbors are Arab-Americans too — only, they’re Israeli-American, not Palestinian-American. She befriends their daughter Ayelet, but her father is not pleased, especially with the current Palestinian-Israeli tensions. On top of adjusting to a new school and finding her place in the world, can Yasmeen help her dad see beyond the differences? This is a moving, poignant exploration of finding common ground despite differences and strife.

Coming Up Short

Coming Up Short

Published: June 21, 2022

Bea is winning at being a shortstop, finally making headway with her crush, and is excited to go to summer camp with her friends when her dad’s legal license is suspended in a town scandal. Suddenly, she develops a case of the yips and begs her parents to send her to another softball summer camp on Gray Island, where her mom grew up. Throughout the summer, Bea learns more about her parents’ previous marriages and other secrets.  Coming Up Short  is a sporty, summery, and serious coming of age story about a girl dealing with difficult emotions and circumstances. 

books for seventh graders - the bridge home

The Bridge Home

Published: February 5, 2019

This heartbreaking middle grade novel follows sisters Viji and Rukku, who flee an abusive home situation into the streets of Chennai, India, where life isn’t so much better. Faced with hunger and homelessness, the sisters befriend two other kids in the same situation and keep trying to find respite until a tragedy upends their lives. This is great for readers looking for more books about poverty and homelessness or stories set in India.

best books for a 7th grade book report

The Road to Wherever

Published: May 11, 2021

11-year-old June (Henry Junior) Ball’s mother sends him off on the road with his adult second cousins after his father disappears without a word. Cousins Thomas and Cornell are “Ford Men” traveling throughout the US to fix people’s old Ford trucks for free. The Ford owners only have to buy spare parts. As the road trip progresses, the men teach June about Ford trucks, fixing cars, and being kind. June also processes his father’s absence while expanding his heart by meeting just as many broken humans as Ford trucks. This is a heartfelt  road trip adventure story  about family,  community , and purpose. 

Golden Girl

Golden Girl

Published: February 22, 2022

Afiyah has a problem with taking things (seemed like kleptomania) even when she tries really hard not to. Fortunately, she’s often remorseful and returns the stolen items. She’s shaken when her father is wrongfully arrested for embezzlement at the airport during a family trip. The situation puts a strain on her family and moves Afiyah to strongly examine her tendency to steal — especially after she gets caught in the act. Golden Girl  is a touching, realistic coming-of-age story about trying to break bad habits and dealing with a  family crisis . 

Best Friends, Bikinis, and Other Summer Catastrophes

Best Friends, Bikinis, and Other Summer Catastrophes

Published: May 17, 2022

Alex is looking forward to spending the summer (as she’s always done) with her best friend, Will. Will’s mother runs the concession stand at their community pool, and both kids have spent several summers playing games at the pool. This summer, though, a schoolmate named Rebekah has eyes for Will — and him for her! As Rebekah and Will begin a tentative crush-friendship, Alex feels threatened and ropes Will into a big summer project (building their treehouse), for which they’ll need several summer jobs to afford building supplies. Surprisingly to Alex, Rebekah also wants to be her friend too. Can Alex get over her jealousy and other issues in her life to figure out this summer friendship drama? This is a terrific  summery middle grade book  about  evolving friendships , growing up, and adjusting to changes.

Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone

Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone

Published: April 26, 2022

Tae Keller’s newest middle grade book,  Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone , opens with new girl Jennifer Chan declared missing at her middle school. As whispers begin, her next-door neighbor Mallory Moss worries that Jennifer may have been abducted by aliens (which Jennifer believed existed). Mallory reunites with two former friends begging them to help her find Jennifer following clues from her time with Jennifer and the diary Jennifer left behind. The story alternates between past and present as readers discover that Mallory’s search is also motivated by an ulterior motive: the need to prove that she and her popular friends didn’t run Jennifer Chan out of town with their bullying. Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone  is a razor-sharp, realistic portrayal of kids mismanaging their insecurities and coping by  bullying others .

Falling Short

Falling Short

Published: March 15, 2022

In  Falling Short , we meet Marco and Isaac. They’ve been besties for as long as they can remember and now they share one pain in common: both their dads aren’t in their lives as they’d like. Isaac’s dad is attentive but currently struggling with alcoholism. Marco’s dad wishes Marco were more athletic, instead of nerdy. At the start of middle school, both boys decide to help each other reach their goals. For Isaac, it’s getting better at more than just basketball — getting better grades and being more responsible. And for Marco, it’s learning a sport: basketball. Can they reach their goals? And will their friendship survive it? I loved this look at a warm friendship bond between boys. 

best books for a 7th grade book report

Everywhere Blue

Published: June 1, 2021

When Madrigal’s (Maddie) older brother, Strum, goes missing from his college campus, her musical family loses its harmony. Her French mother is distraught — broken for the first time as Maddie has never seen her. Her piano-playing father doesn’t even touch his instrument, and her fiery sister retreats into a rebellious funk, drinking and partying, even though she’s only 16. Maddie tries to keep everything together: focus on her oboe lessons and compulsive counting that calms her mind. But when her parents leave to look for Strum and Maddie is left with Aria, things seem hopeless. Maddie continues trying to manage school work, friendships, practicing her instrument, and maybe joining a new eco club at school. Eventually, though, with all leads looking dead-ended, Maddie just might have what it takes to find Strum. But can she find her way to him? Everywhere Blue  is a poignant, moving  middle grade verse novel about family ,  mental health , music, and  caring for the environment .

best books for a 7th grade book report

The Kate in Between

When a bunch of popular kids seems to welcome Kate into their clique, she is torn about ditching her longtime best friend, Haddie. Things get complicated, however, when Kate is a passive participant in a bullying incident that leads to Haddie sinking on thin ice. Then, Kate is captured on camera saving Haddie, and the video goes viral. While news outlets hail “Kate the Great” as a shining example for tweens who should not be bullying other kids, Kate continues to oscillate between craving acceptance from the popular kids and trying to keep her friendship with Haddie, all the while maintaining her public image by appearing in newspapers and on popular YouTube channels. But how long can she keep up the charade? And, is Kate great? Or is she a bad person? The Kate in Between  is a timely, complex, and engaging middle grade book about identity, popularity,  bullying culture , and going viral.

Those Kids from Fawn Creek

Those Kids from Fawn Creek

Published: March 8, 2022

This book follows 12 seventh-graders in Fawn Creek’s middle school. These kids have grown up together in their small factory town and know each other in and out. They’ve formed semi-permanent cliques and it’s tough for them to break out from the general expectations of their peers. The story is told by multiple narrators, including the new girl Orchid Mason (who says she’s from New York and has grown up in cities around the world), shy girl Dorothy, and her best friend (and the only person she talks to) Greyson. Cousins Janie and Abby have recently become a duo since their “Queen Bee,” Rennie Dean, moved away to a nearby town but still tries to keep tabs on them and control their actions. When Rennie and her crew find out about Orchid’s seemingly exotic background, they’re at once jealous and convinced that she’s lying. But is she? Those Kids from Fawn Creek  is a gorgeously written, character-driven, slice-of-life middle grade  book about bullying  and the power of kindness.

Starfish - books for seventh graders

Published: March 9, 2021

Starfish  features Ellie, a fat girl who has been bullied for her weight since she wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash in the pool. Even her older brother and sister make fun of her weight. Her mom controls her diet, monitoring her portions and choosing lackluster “healthy” alternatives. Ellie is feeling more disheartened because her friend Viv who is also plus-sized is moving away. Thankfully, after Viv moves, Ellie finds a friend in her new neighbor Catalina and her family. The family loves food and welcome Ellie with open arms, never judging her for her weight. At school, bullying intensifies when a chair breaks after Ellie sits on it. Her mom is also pushing for gastric bypass surgery for Ellie. Eventually, her father gets her mother to ease off by taking Ellie to a therapist who helps her accept her body and defend herself against bullies. Starfish  is a powerful, fat-positive middle grade  verse novel  about a girl who is learning that she deserves to take up space.

No Fixed Address - books for seventh graders

No Fixed Address

Published: September 11, 2018

12-year-old Felix Knuttson is a sweet kid whose brain soaks up trivia like a sponge. His mom Astrid (whom he calls by her name), is loving but unreliable and can’t seem to hold on to a job or a house. When they lose their apartment in Vancouver, Astrid “borrows” a camper van from an ex and moves them in there “just for August” until she finds a job. But September comes, and there’s still no job or house, and Felix needs an address to enroll in school. Astrid figures out a way to do that, but Felix can’t tell anyone about their home situation. At the new school, he makes two new friends and finds out about a trivia contest that might change their housing situation. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned. This is a compelling, realistic, and funny middle grade  book about homelessness, poverty , friendship, and mental health.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Violet and the Pie of Life

12-year-old Violet wishes that math could solve all her problems — and she does try to use her math. Unfortunately, her parents are fighting more and more. Her mom seems to nag constantly while her dad is the fun one who does things like buying them fried chicken for dinner. Eventually, after a heated argument one night, her father moves out and her mom won’t tell Violet where he’s gone. At school, her best friend Mackenzie seems to make fun of just about anyone, but especially the nice, pretty girl in their class, Ally. So when Violet gets cast as the Lion in the Wizard of Oz play and Mackenzie gets a small role, while Ally plays Dorothy, Mackenzie asks Violet to quit the play with her. Violet refuses. That and a budding friendship with Ally put a strain on her friendship with Mackenzie, adding to Violet’s overall stress. Violet and the Pie of Life  is a realistic portrayal of the impact of  parental separation  on a child.

A Song Called Home

A Song Called Home

Published: March 15, 2022

Lou and her sister Casey have to move from the city to the suburbs to live with their new stepfather, Steve, leaving behind their old schools and Lou’s best friend Beth Tsai. Forming this new family is hard on Lou and Casey for different reasons. Lou feels like she’s leaving their alcoholic father behind and Casey worries that Steve is being too nice and the “real Steve” will show up soon. On the day before their move (which is also Lou’s birthday) Lou finds a guitar right outside their old apartment addressed to her. Convinced it’s from her dad, she starts learning to play guitar to maintain that bond with him. As they all navigate the blending of their families, Lou learns about herself and what family truly means. A Song Called Home  is a realistic, heartrending depiction of the process of  blending a family  while dealing with the trauma of having an alcoholic parent.

Farewell Cuba, Mi Isla

Farewell Cuba, Mi Isla

Published: September 5, 2023

1960, Cuba. Cousins Victoria and Jackie love living in their island country with their large family. When when Fidel Castro’s communist government takes hold, things change swiftly, leading Victoria’s father to relocate his family to Miami, leaving Jackie and her family behind. As Victoria adapts to life in the US, Jackie and her family struggle in Cuba—until the family decides to send Jackie over to the States with Operation Peter Pan. But will Jackie ever see her family again? Both girls band together to bring the rest of their family to America. Farewell Cuba Mi Isla  is a moving, authentic book chronicling the impact of Fidel Castro’s communist regime in Cuba.


Published: March 31, 2020

When Ross is diagnosed with a rare lacrimal gland cancer (in his eye), it’s like a new trial for his seventh-grade existence. Add to that the fact that his mom died from cancer years before, he’s going blind in one eye, his best friend is moving away soon, and mean kids at school are making terrible memes about his illness, and you have a dumpster fire of a year waiting to happen. Or is it? Wink  by Rob Harrell is a brilliant, funny, and thoughtful middle grade book about navigating a cancer diagnosis in 7th grade.

Kyra, Just for Today

Kyra, Just for Today

Published: March 5, 2024

In this companion to A Song Called Home , Kyra’s mother is an alcoholic in recovery. She could always count on having her best friend, Lu — until now. Lu has new friends and splits her time between both friend groups, eventually asking Kyra to join them sometimes. Kyra is also getting bullied for being bigger than most other 13-year-olds. Already, Kyra does so much at home: cooking, and even helping her mom out with her cleaning job. But then her mother starts acting weird, leading Kyra to believe that she’s relapsed. I loved how the author shows readers that recovery is not linear and I enjoyed watching Kyra feel safe in her own skin. Hand to fans of Sumner’s Maid for It and readers who love books featuring food and cooking.

Fox Point's Own Gemma Hopper: (A Graphic Novel)

Fox Point’s Own Gemma Hopper

Published: April 11, 2023

7th grader Gemma Hopper’s mother has left their family. Gemma lives with her dad, older brother Teddy, and their twin younger brothers. While their dad works overtime to fend for the family materially, Gemma is saddled with caring for the home and her twin siblings while also serving as a ball machine/practice partner for her brother, who’s a baseball prodigy of sorts. One day, while practicing with Teddy, she strikes him out with two impressive pitches, capturing the attention of some scouts from a competitive baseball team. All of a sudden, Gemma now also has star potential. Can both siblings find a way to work together? This is an engaging graphic novel about family (absent mothers), baseball, and  sibling relationships . 

The Braid Girls

The Braid Girls

Published: June 13, 2023

In  The Braid Girls , Maggie’s summer is off to a rocky start when her parents announce that she has a half-sister—a daughter her father never knew about until now. Callie’s presence throws off soft-spoken Maggie’s dynamic with her outspoken best friend Daija, even more when Callie joins their hair-braiding business. This is a sweet, relatable middle grade  book about sisterhood , entrepreneurship, and finding your voice.

No Matter the Distance

No Matter the Distance

  Published: February 21, 2023

This book centers on young Penny, a middle schooler with cystic fibrosis. Penny has to take digestive enzymes and do her breathing treatments to help her lungs get rid of mucus that affects her breathing. While her CF case is relatively mild-moderate, she still struggles with being chronically ill. One day a dolphin shows up in the lake near their house and Penny feels a strong connection with the animal. It turns out the dolphin (whom Penny names Rose) is also sick and needs to return to her pod to get better. Penny may be the only one who can help the scientists take Rose back. But can she do that, when she feels so drawn to the animal? No Matter the Distance  is a beautiful  middle grade verse novel  about living with cystic fibrosis and finding belonging in community.

Morning Sun in Wuhan

Morning Sun in Wuhan

Published: November 8, 2022

I’ve had  Morning Sun in Wuhan  on my radar for a long time because it’s set in the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic (and mostly because of the cover). 13-year-old Mei loves cooking and playing a cooking video game with two of her friends. She lives with her physician dad and is still grieving the loss of her mother. Her life suddenly turns upside down when a new virus starts killing people in her hometown Wuhan. Her dad is stuck working at the hospital and leaves Mei at home when the city is locked down. Can Mei cope with the pandemic — and find a way to help others around her? Morning Sun in Wuhan  is a fascinating, insightful middle grade account depicting the genesis of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan. 

Absolutely, Positively Natty

Absolutely Positively Natty

  Published: May 9, 2023

Reeling from the impact of her mother’s depression on their family, Natty decides she’s going to be “Good Vibes Only.” She even starts a pep rally club in her cheerless new town. But her pursuit of positivity wears on her friendships and her–until the facade starts to crumble. An insightful exploration of toxic positivity and how kids can manage tough situations instead.

The Fire, the Water, and Maudie McGinn

The Fire, The Water, and Maudie McGinn

Published: July 11, 2023

Maudie is a sweet, autistic girl spending the summer with her dad. When her dad’s home is razed in a California wildfire, they move to the small beach town where her father grew up. Throughout the summer, as Maudie makes new friends, starts learning to surf, and enters a surfing contest, a secret tugs at her–one her mother has asked her to keep from her dad.  The Fire, The Water, and Maudie McGinn  is a vivid, triumphant, and authentic coming-of-age story about discovering one’s inner strength.

A Work in Progress

A Work in Progress

Published: May 2, 2023

Will feels like the only chubby kid in his class and feels insecure about his weight. Add to that the bullying he faces and his observations of his mother’s attitude toward food, and he falls into a pattern of disordered eating and over-exercising. Thankfully, a budding friendship with a new classmate changes his view. This is a great book about body image issues, and it’s done in an illustrated verse format that I think kids will love.

The Widely Unknown Myth of Apple & Dorothy

The Wildly Unknown Myth of Apple and Dorothy

Published: September 19, 2023

Apple and Dorothy are half-gods, descendants of the Greek gods Zeus and Hera and Pandora, respectively. When Dorothy’s mother refuses to return to Olympus one solstice, she becomes a full human and is soon killed in a car accident, leaving Dorothy and her father grieving. Motivated by a promise she made to Dorothy’s mother, Apple befriends Dorothy. But when the gods rule that all half-gods must return home to Olympus and take their place as gods or remain human, Dorothy chooses Earth, to Apple’s dismay. Apple’s fear of losing Dorothy leads her to make a decision with terrible consequences. As a non-fantasy reader, I loved this book — how clever, creative, and profound it is, especially in the way it approaches friendship and grief. I think fans of  Greek mythology  will love it.

There they are: 50 of the best books for seventh graders! I hope you find something appealing for your kids. If you’d like more upper middle-grade book recommendations, here’s my list of upper middle grade books .

Which of these books for seventh graders have you read and enjoyed? And which other ones would you recommend?

More Book Lists

  • Realistic fiction for 7th graders
  • Mystery books for 7th graders
  • Historical fiction for 7th graders

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  • About Afoma Umesi

Afoma Umesi is the founder and editor of Reading Middle Grade where she curates book lists and writes book reviews for kids of all ages. Her favorite genre to read is contemporary realistic fiction and she'll never say no to a graphic novel.

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Reader Interactions

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November 16, 2020 at 2:53 pm

The only one I’ve read here is Amal Unbound. So good! 🙌

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November 17, 2020 at 4:57 pm

Another handy list! I’ve read a few of these and a few are new to me. I should really check out The Prettiest. The Story That Cannot Be Told caught my eye. (BTW, you have the description for One Last Shot underneath Serena Says).

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November 18, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Hi Jenna! Thank you so much for your kind comment. Yes, you’ll love THE PRETTIEST! And thanks for the heads up, I’ve fixed that mistake now 🙂

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November 21, 2020 at 12:40 pm

There are so many amazing books on this list! And a few I haven’t read yet!

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June 14, 2022 at 7:00 pm

Bookmarking this post! Love it!

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Differentiated Teaching

Must-Read 7th Grade Books: A Book List for Teachers & Homeschoolers

Finding 7th grade books can feel overwhelming. That’s because seventh grade is a pivotal year for students. They are no longer kids, but they are not quite teenagers yet. They’re trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be. They are also working hard in school and starting to think about their future.

While we all know there are many benefits to reading literature , this period is time is especially critical for helping students problem solve and develop a sense of self. This is why it is important to give them a reading list that will challenge and engage them in critical thinking. To help, I’ve put together a list of 20 of the best books for 7th graders so you can quickly and easily create a booklist for the school year.

7th grade books for readers - a seventh grade book list

Whether you’re a middle school teacher or homeschooling your seventh grader, I’m sure you’ll find a good book on this list that will capture your reader’s attention. These 7th grade books cover so many important themes and genres there’s something for everyone!

The Best Books for Your 7th Grade Readers

If you’re creating book lists for your readers this year, you’ll likely want to include a mix of classic books, historical fiction novels, Newbery honor books, and more. Here are some of my top picks for the best books for seventh-grade readers:

1. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me is a complex puzzle that plays with time and space. The story centers around Miranda, a 12-year-old living in New York City in the late 1970s. Her mother is trying to get on the $20,000 Pyramid, her best friend has been beaten up by a bully, and some weird things are happening to Miranda—anonymous notes are coming in from the future telling her not to trust someone. It’s hard to give you much more than that without giving away spoilers—but it’s one of those books that you won’t be able to put down until you’ve finished it.

When You Reach Me 7th grade books, books for 7th graders

Details about When You Reach Me :

  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Buy the Novel Unit: When You Reach Me Novel Study

2. Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart

When it comes to 7th grade books, this one will make kids laugh out loud. This comedy is about a boy who is not gifted and talented at school, but has somehow ended up in middle school for the “gifted and talented.” In fact, he’s so bad at school that his mom takes him to a psychiatrist because she thinks something must be wrong with him. In order to get out of school, he starts a rumor that there are poisonous black widow spiders living in the toilet paper dispensers. Needless to say, this doesn’t go over well with any of the teachers or parents. With hilarious consequences, the plot revolves around how the main character deals with this problem…and eventually gets out of it. (Spoiler alert: it ends happily.)

For students who loved books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants in their younger years, Death by Toilet Paper will not disappoint!

Details about Death by Toilet Paper :

  • Genre: Realistic Fiction/Humor
  • Buy the Novel Unit: Death by Toilet Paper Novel Study

3. Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

A powerful and harrowing story, Diary of Anne Frank is a must-read for all students as it gives a firsthand account of the fear and hardship faced by the Jewish people in Nazi Germany. The diary entries span from June 12, 1942 to August 1944. In them, Anne (aged 13 at the time) documents her life while in hiding from the Nazi regime during World War II.

Through her writing, Anne shares her hopes and dreams, as well as her fears and frustrations.

The diary ends abruptly when the family is discovered and Anne is sent to a concentration camp. However, students will be moved by her story and inspired by her strength in the face of adversity.

4. Posted by John David Anderson

After cell phones are banned from Branton Middle School, the students start using notes to communicate. Eighth-grader, Parker, starts passing sticky notes to a girl he likes. eighth-grader Margot begins receiving threatening notes from someone who knows all her secrets. Seventh-grader Simon gets drafted into being the middleman for the entire school.

Both heartwarming and lesson-packed, this book is an easier read that offers many great opportunities to discuss the impact of our words on others.

5. Ungifted by Gordon Korman

The main character in Ungifted is a middle schooler named Donovan Curtis. He’s not exactly a bad kid, but he’s not the best student either—which is why he ends up in the gifted and talented program at his school. The only problem is that Donovan isn’t gifted or talented… he just ended up in the wrong class. This book is great because it shows how being “ungifted” can actually be an asset sometimes. You can count on Donovan to find a way to get things done that no one else would even think of!

Boys who are reluctant readers will especially enjoy this book, which has short chapters in large print, and will have your son reading nonstop to find out what happens next! For boys who are starting to like reading chapter books for fun, Ungifted by Gordon Korman is a good choice for 7th grade. It’s about 300 pages long and funny enough that kids will want to read it from start to finish!

Details about Ungifted :

  • Genre: Realistic Fiction
  • Buy the Novel Unit: Ungifted Novel Study

6. Touching Spirit Bear by Bear Mikaelsen

Ideal for middle schools, Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen is a powerful and thought-provoking story about a troubled teenager named Cole Matthews. The novel demonstrates how people can make terrible choices, but that everyone deserves a second chance.

Cole Matthews has been in trouble for most of his life because of his anger issues. He made one mistake that changed the course of his life and it led him to an Alaskan wilderness camp as part of the Circle Justice program. The program gave him the opportunity to face himself and heal from the past so he could move forward in a positive direction. His journey is told through flashbacks that reveal more about Cole’s past mistakes and how they shaped who he was in the present time.

It’s not until Cole has to face himself, and almost lose his own life, that he’s able to find peace with what happened in the past so he can move forward with his future. A favorite of 6th grade and 7th grade readers, you’ll definitely want to give this title a look.

Touching Spirit Bear 7th Grade Books 7th grade books, books for 7th graders

7. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

The protagonist, a young Eskimo girl named Miyax, is living with her father and grandfather in the harsh, cold climate of the Arctic tundra. She is independent and has learned to survive in this environment, but she does not feel any real connection to her family. When her father leaves for San Francisco and her grandfather dies, Miyax runs away from home to find him. After a harrowing journey through Alaska’s wilderness, she adopts a pack of wolves as her new family and they help keep each other alive until she can return home in safety.

Julie of the Wolves Winter Novel 7th grade books, books for 7th graders

Like Touching Spirit Bear , Julie of the Wolves focuses on the harmony between humanity and nature. Miyax quickly learned that if she wanted to survive alone in Alaska’s vast expanse of wilderness, she would have to live by its own set of rules. This meant everyone was treated as an equal—no matter what species or gender they were—and no one made decisions based on greed or vanity like humans so often do.

Despite being full of suspenseful moments that make you feel your heart racing inside your chest as you read them, these characters will make you wish you really could join their den for a while. This is one of my favorite winter novels , but it is a great read any time of year.

Details about Julie of the Wolves :

  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Buy the Novel Unit: Julie of the Wolves Novel Study

8. The Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

The Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes is a beautifully written and eye-opening story about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath through the eyes of a young girl named Lanesha. A great historical fiction book for 7th graders, it is the story of Lanesha’s life in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward with her Mama Ya-Ya, who has raised her since she was orphaned as a baby. When Hurricane Katrina hits, Mama Ya-Ya does everything she can to protect Lanesha but the storm is too powerful and they are forced to evacuate.

The Ninth Ward 7th Grade Books 7th grade books, books for 7th graders

After the hurricane, Lanesha is sent to live with her estranged father in Houston. She struggles to adjust to this new environment and finds it hard to trust anyone after what she’s been through. But with the help of her new friend, Kaya, Lanesha starts to heal and eventually finds the courage to return to New Orleans and face her fears.

When considering 7th grade books, you should find a mix of relatable texts and those that can foster discussion and thought. The Ninth Ward is perfect for this because it is an important story that highlights the strength and resilience of the human spirit. It’s also a reminder that natural disasters can happen anywhere at any time, and we must be prepared for them.

9. Hana’s Suitcase by Karen Levine

Hana’s Suitcase is a true story about the Holocaust told through the lens of two children living half a world apart. In Tokyo, Japan, a young boy named Fumiko Ishioka is working on a school project about WWII and the Holocaust. She becomes interested in the story of a Jewish girl named Hana Brady who was sent to a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia.

Fumiko begins writing letters to Hana’s surviving brother, George, who now lives in Toronto, Canada. Through their correspondence, Fumiko and George piece together the story of Hana’s life and how she perished in the Holocaust.

Hana’s Suitcase is an important book for children to read because it shows the power of human connection and the importance of remembering the past. It is a reminder that we must never forget what happened during the Holocaust, and that we must stand up against hatred and bigotry in all forms.

Details about Hana’s Suitcase:

  • Genre: Literary Nonfiction
  • Buy the Novel Unit: Hana’s Suitcase Study Guide

10. Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry

This Newbery Medal-winning book is the perfect choice for young readers who are looking for an adventure story with a strong message of courage and perseverance.

The novel follows the story of Mafatu, a young boy from an island tribe in Polynesia. Mafatu is different from the other boys in his tribe because he’s afraid of the sea. He’s constantly ridiculed and made to feel like an outcast because of his fear, but he decides that he’s going to prove everyone wrong.

books for 7th graders Call it courage 7th grade books, books for 7th graders

Mafatu sets out on a journey by himself in a small canoe, determined to catch fish and prove that he is just as brave as the other boys in his tribe. But when a big storm hits and his canoe is overturned, Mafatu has to face his biggest fear head-on. He’s forced to swim for his life in the middle of the raging sea.

This story is an inspiring tale of courage and determination, and it shows that anyone can overcome their fears if they set their mind to it.

Details about Call It Courage :

  • Buy the Novel Unit: Call It Courage Novel Study Guide

11. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

No 7th grade book list would be complete without at least a few of the classics. Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is a coming-of-age tale set during the American Civil War. The novel follows the lives of four sisters, Jo March, Beth March, Meg March and Amy March as they grow up in Concord, Massachusetts. If you enjoy reading about history or historical fiction this is a great book for you to read.

The family struggles to maintain their lifestyle because their father is off fighting in the war. The girls have to learn how to manage the home on their own and come up with ways of making money when times are tough. This book will teach you about women’s roles during this time period as well as give you an insight into what life was like during wartime. It also tackles issues such as discrimination, feminism, and classism during this era of American history.

12. Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Graphic novels can be great additions when you’re considering 7th grade books. This coming-of-age graphic novel is perfect for middle schoolers who are looking for a relatable story about growing up.

The book follows the story of a girl in middle school who is trying to find her place in the world. She’s dealing with all the usual things that come with being a teenager, like boys, bullies, and braces. But when she gets hit in the face with a baseball and has to get surgery, things start to get really complicated.

She has to learn how to deal with her new appearance, which includes metal wires holding her teeth together. She also has to deal with mean girls at school who make fun of her. But through it all, she learns that being yourself is the best thing you can do.

I love Raina Telegemeier’s books, and you’ll find more of them on my list of Halloween books .

13. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

The 1961 novel follows the adventures of a young boy named Billy Coleman and his two Redbone Coonhound hunting dogs in the Ozark Mountains. Set during the Great Depression, Billy spends every cent he can to purchase and train his hounds. After several years of training, they become renowned hunters and win many ribbons at competitions.

Where the Red Fern Grows 7th grade books, books for 7th graders

This story is mostly appreciated by readers ages 11-14 but it is well-known by people of all ages. Though it’s an easy read, “Where The Red Fern Grows” will make anyone cry at some point during their reading adventure.

Details about Where the Red Fern Grows :

  • Buy the Novel Unit: Where the Red Fern Grows Novel Study Guide

14. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

A Long Walk to Water is based on the true story of Salva Dut, a Sudanese boy who was forced to flee his home during the Second Sudanese Civil War. When he was just 11 years old, Salva was separated from his family and sent on a dangerous journey to Ethiopia. He spent several months walking through the desert, and when he finally arrived in Ethiopia, he was placed in a refugee camp.

The story then jumps to present day, where Salva is now an adult living in America. He works for an organization that builds wells in Sudan, and he is able to return to his home country to help others who are facing the same struggles that he once faced.

This is a powerful story that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

15. The Giver by Lois Lowry

In a future society where pain, disease, war, and poverty have been eradicated, 12-year-old Jonas is selected to become the Receiver of Memory. This means that he will be responsible for carrying all of the memories of the world, both the good and the bad.

As Jonas begins to learn about the history of his society, he starts to question the rules that have been put in place. He wonders why people are not allowed to express their emotions, why they are not allowed to see colors, and why everyone must take a drug that makes them forget their memories.

The Giver Novel Study

Eventually, Jonas decides that the rules of his society are wrong and he starts to rebel against them. This leads to a series of events that will change his life forever.

Details about The Giver :

  • Genre: Dystopian Fiction
  • Buy the Unit Study Guide: The Giver Unit Study Guide

16. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a story told through pictures and words. It’s the story of a young orphan living in London who survives by stealing food and living in the walls of a train station.

Hugo’s life changes when he meets a young girl named Isabelle, who helps him try to solve the mystery of his late father’s clockwork machine. Along the way, they learn about film history and the invention of the motion picture camera.

This is a beautiful and unique story that will appeal to readers of all ages, but it is one of my favorite 7th grade books.

18. Restart by Gordon Korman

Chase does not remember what happened the day he fell off the roof and hit his head. He only knows that he somehow ended up in the hospital with a concussion. But as Chase starts to piece together what happened, he realizes something about the person he was before his accident.

Restart - 7th grade book by Gordon Korman

Chase was a bully. He would pick on other kids, make fun of them, and even steal from them. But after his accident, Chase is determined to change. He wants to be a better person and he does not want to go back to the way he was before.

But it is not going to be easy. Change is never easy. And as Chase starts to realize that, he also realizes that he might not be able to do it on his own.

Details about Restart :

  • Buy the Unit Study Guide: Restart Novel Study Guide

19. Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

In 1793, Philadelphia is gripped by a deadly fever. When Mattie Cook’s mother and grandfather fall ill, she has to take over the family business. But as the disease starts to spread, Mattie must find a way to save her family and herself.

This is a historical fiction novel that is based on the real-life events of the 1793 yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia.

Fever 1793

Details about Fever 1793 :

  • Buy the Unit Study Guide: Fever 1793 Novel Study

20. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders is a classic novel about two rival gangs, the Socs and the Greasers. The story is told from the perspective of Ponyboy, a member of the Greasers. Great for advanced seventh or eighth graders, the story is a must-read for all students.

Ponyboy’s world is turned upside down when his best friend, Johnny, kills a Soc in self-defense. The boys are forced to go on the run, and they must learn to trust each other if they want to survive.

21. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Josh and Jordan are twin brothers who love basketball. They are also dealing with the loss of their father, who died suddenly from a heart attack.

As they try to cope with their grief, they turn to basketball as a way to connect with their dad. They start to play street ball and soon they are known as the “twin towers” of the court.

But when Josh’s game starts to suffer, he wonders if he will ever be able to play the game the way his father did.

22. The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L Holm

In this funny and heartwarming book, Ellie’s scientist grandfather has discovered the secret to eternal youth. Now a teenager, he must figure out how to connect with his granddaughter, who is going through her own awkward phase. At the same time, he needs her help to get the formula for his discovery out to the world.

The Fourteenth Goldfish is a great book for kids who are interested in science, as it offers a look at some real-world scientific concepts. It’s also perfect for kids who are dealing with their own changes and growing up.

Details about The Fourteenth Goldfish:

  • Buy the Unit Study Guide: The Fourteenth Goldfish Novel Study Guide

23. How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor

Georgina’s family has fallen on hard times. They have lost their house and they are living in their car.

Desperate to help her family, Georgina comes up with a plan to steal a dog. She knows that if she can find the right dog, she can surely find a rich owner who will pay big money to get it back.

But as Georgina starts to execute her plan, she realized that stealing a dog is not as easy as it seems. And she also begins to realize that the real value of a dog is not in the money, but in the love and companionship they provide.

Details about How to Steal a Dog:

  • Buy the Unit Study Guide: How to Steal a Dog Novel Study

24. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Every year, the people of the Protectorate offer a baby as a sacrifice to the witch who lives in the forest. But one year, they accidentally offer up Luna, a foundling who has been raised by a loving couple.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon 7th grade books, books for 7th graders

The witch, who is not really a witch at all, takes Luna in and decides to raise her as her own. But when Luna’s magical powers start to grow, the witch realizes that she may not be able to protect her from the dangers of the world.

This is a great book to introduce in October, as it has some spooky elements that make it a great Halloween read for older students. However, your students will enjoy it anytime!

25. Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen

By seventh grade, many students have read Paulsen’s popular book Hatchet. However, many don’t realize the book has a number of great sequels that are just as fantastic and still offer great learning opportunities for 7th-grade readers.

In this companion novel to Hatchet, Brian is stranded in the wilderness once again. But this time, it is winter and he is not prepared. Brian must find a way to survive the cold and the dangers of the forest if he wants to make it through the winter.

Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen

Details about Brian’s Winter :

  • Genre: Survival Fiction
  • Buy the Unit Study Guide: Brian’s Winter Novel Study

26. The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Watsons are a black family living in Flint, Michigan, in the 1960s. When their youngest son, Kenny, gets into trouble at school, they decide to send him down to Birmingham, Alabama, to live with his grandparents. But when they get there, they realize that Birmingham is not the safe haven they thought it would be.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 is a powerful story about family, friendship, and the fight for civil rights.

7th Grade Books The Watsons Go to Birmingham Digital Novel Sudy 7th grade books, books for 7th graders

Details about The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 :

  • Buy the Unit Study Guide: The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 Novel Study

27. The Cay by Theodore Taylor

A classic I discovered in sixth grade, The Cay by Theodore Taylor is a constant on the best seventh grade reading list. Set during World War II, the novel follows Phillip, a young boy who gets shipwrecked and stranded with an elderly Black man named Timothy. Forced to help each other survive against a harsh landscape and terrifying predators, Phillip learns about courage and friendship as he helps his newly blind companion navigate the wilderness.

Despite being written for younger audiences, this coming-of-age tale will capture the hearts of readers of all ages as they see how far one person can go to protect another. Themes like trust and acceptance are also included in this beautifully written story that aims to inspire young people with its page-turning plot.

28. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time is a classic science fiction novel that has been captivating young readers for generations. The story follows Meg, who must travel through time and space to save her father from the evil forces that have captured him.

With its complex plot and themes of good vs. evil, A Wrinkle in Time is a great choice for seventh-grade readers. It is also a great choice for discussions about family, loyalty, and friendship.

Books for 6th Graders A Wrinkle in Time 1 7th grade books, books for 7th graders

Details about A Wrinkle in Time :

  • Buy the Unit Study Guide: A Wrinkle in Time Unit Study Guide

29. Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

Seventh graders are in the midst of a period where they’re exploring their beliefs and how they align with those of the people around them. Amal Unbound is a powerful story about a young girl’s fight for freedom. Amal lives in Pakistan, where she is forced to work as a servant in her own home after her father incurs a debt to the wealthy landlord.

Determined to get an education so she can one day become a lawyer and help others like her, Amal risks everything to go to school. But when the landlord’s son takes an interest in her, Amal must decide how far she is willing to go to get the education she needs.

Amal Unbound 7th Grade Books 7th grade books, books for 7th graders

30. Blood on the River: James Town, 1607 by Elisa Carbone

This historical fiction novel is based on the true story of the founding of James Town, Virginia. The story follows Samuel Collier, a young boy who is indentured to English captain John Smith and must go to America to work off his debt.

Once in America, Samuel finds himself in the middle of a conflict between the English and the Native Americans. When the English start to starve, Samuel must make a decision: should he help the Native Americans who have been so kind to him, or should he help his own people?

Blood on the River is a great choice for seventh-grade readers who are interested in history and want to learn more about the early days of America.

Blood on the River 7th grade books, books for 7th graders

Details about Blood on the River:

  • Buy the Unit Study Guide: Blood on the River Unit Study Guide

31. Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein by Jennifer Roy & Ali Fadhil

This is a true story about the author’s brother, Ali Fadhil, who was living in Baghdad during the Gulf War. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, Ali’s family was forced to flee to America.

While they are in America, the Gulf War starts and Ali is glued to the television, watching as his home country is bombed. He is also playing a lot of video games, including Atari, which he is very good at.

Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein

One day, Saddam Hussein appears on television playing the same game that Ali has been playing. This leads Ali to believe that if he can beat Saddam at the game, maybe he can stop the war.

Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein is a great choice for seventh-grade readers who are interested in history, the Middle East, or video games.

32. PICKLE: The Formerly Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School by Kim Baker

This hilarious novel is perfect for seventh-grade readers who are looking for a laugh. The story follows Ben, Frank, Oliver, and Bean, a group of middle school students who start a prank club. But when their pranks start to get out of hand, the boys must figure out how to stop before they get into serious trouble.

Pickle Novel for 7th Grade Readers

PICKLE is one of those 7th grade books that will make students laugh and is a great choice for readers who are looking for a funny and light-hearted read. It is also a great choice for discussions about bullying, peer pressure, and making good choices.

Details about PICKLE :

  • Buy the Unit Study: PICKLE Novel Study

33. Front Desk by Kelly Yang

This is a heartwarming story about Mia Tang, who moves to America from China with her parents. Mia’s family runs a motel, and Mia does everything she can to help, even though she is only nine years old.

Mia struggles to adjust to life in America, but she quickly makes new friends with the other kids who live at the motel. Together, they start a secret business to help the guests at the motel and to stand up to the mean manager.

Front Desk is a great choice for seventh-grade readers who are looking for a feel-good story about friendship, determination, and standing up for what’s right.

34. Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

This is the story of a young boy named Misha who lives on the streets of Warsaw during World War II. Misha is a member of the resistance movement, and he helps smuggle Jewish children out of the ghetto.

Milkweek by Jerry Spinelli 7th Grade Books 7th grade books, books for 7th graders

But when Misha is caught by the Nazis, he must use all his strength and courage to survive. Milkweed is a great choice for seventh-grade readers who are interested in history or in stories about the Holocaust.

Details about Milkweed:

  • Buy the Unit Study Guide: Milkweed Unit Study Guide

35. Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigley

This coming-of-age story centers on a 16-year-old girl named Apple. Despite being half Native American and half white, a formative experience on the playground as a child left Apple unsure just where she belongs.

When her father drops her offer with her Native American relatives one summer on the Turtle Mountain Indian reservation in North Dakota, Apple experiences a new way of life and learns about her heritage. Ultimately, what felt foreign at first begins to feel like home, as Apple discovers her place in the world.

Apple in the MIddle book 5 7th grade books, books for 7th graders

Apple in the Middle is a great choice for seventh-grade readers who are looking for a story about identity, family, and belonging.

Details about Apple in the Middle:

  • Buy the Unit Study Guide: Apple in the Middle Novel Study

Ready to Plan your 7th Grade Novel Study?

These are just a few of the great books that seventh-grade readers will enjoy. For more book recommendations, be sure to check out our other blog posts or contact your local librarian.

While you’re here, grab my free novel study planning roadmap to get step-by-step support to plan a high-quality literature unit for your seventh-grade students whether you’re in the classroom or homeschooling. Whether you’re planning your first novel study or just looking for new ideas, you’ll love this great tool.

Looking for more great books to add to your home or classroom library?

It’s so important for kids to love to read. After all, reading is the key that unlocks the door to understanding everything else in school. Reading is also crucial for making and keeping friends, and being a good friend helps kids manage stress and anxiety.

If you’ve got a broad range of reading levels or are trying to diversify your classroom library without spending a ton of money , here are some of my favorite books for other reading levels.

If you’ve already filled your book list for 7th grade, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered. Click a grade level below to access more great novels.

2nd grade math

best books for a 7th grade book report

50 Must-Read Books for Seventh Graders

by AuthorAmy

Welcome to Amy’s Bookshelf! Here, teachers will find carefully curated book lists for each grade level from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Moving forward, new lists filled with book recommendations will be published weekly. Sometimes, these lists will be organized around a specific theme, like a holiday or seasonal event. Other times, they will feature rockstar books – books practically guaranteed to get your students reading. 

Before jumping into reading recommendations, a few words about how books are selected.

First, it is so important that teachers prioritize reading interest over reading level. Students will often choose to read well above or below their reading level if they are particularly interested in a book or topic. Teachers only hurt students by limiting them to a specific selection of titles grouped according to an arbitrary number or level. Think of the books on these lists as starting places for you and your students, but if a student wants to read up (or down), that is a-ok.

Also, please note that these lists lean heavily toward modern selections as opposed to the classics many teachers are familiar with. A true renaissance is happening in children’s literature today, and the books coming out are truly exciting. One of the factors that makes this such an exciting time for kid lit is how diverse the selections are in terms of genre, characters and subject matter. These lists will feature fiction and nonfiction selection as well as graphic novels, novels written in verse, and more.

Any book list or classroom library worth its salt includes books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters, racially diverse characters, characters with disabilities, characters in the foster care system, characters from a wide variety of socioeconomic and religious backgrounds, and so on. Importantly, the diversity of the characters doesn’t always need to be the focus of the literature – in other words, a book featuring a black character or gay character doesn’t need to be about those individuals exploring their blackness or their gayness; those characters can have kid problems that apply to all children regardless of their race or sexual orientation. Similarly, students should be encouraged to read stories featuring people of diversity all year long – not just during a month set aside to celebrate a specific heritage.

One final note: today’s children’s literature does not shy away from frank discussions of gender, race, sex, sexuality, abuse, mental illness, and more – nor should it. I will not censor books from these lists based on these controversial areas. What books you recommend will depend on the specific district you work in and your clientele. I encourage you and your students to read widely without fear.

Seventh Grade

Seventh grade is a time of growing pains for many students, a time of growing up and sometimes growing apart from friends. It’s a time of forging one’s own path and finding your own way in the world. Middle grade fiction, especially novels, tends to reflect this transition time in children’s lives. 

by Raina Telgemeier

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Get it  HERE .

In this graphic novel sequel to Smile, Raina can’t wait to be a big sister, until her little sister is actually born and she realizes that babies aren’t a lot of fun. Over the years, they learn to stick together and stand up for each other.  

2. I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

Another picture book biography, this time about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This particular biography tells Gindburg’s story through her many famous dissents. 

3. The Giver by Lois Lowry 

The Giver by Lois Lowry

On the day Life Assignments are given out, 12-year-old Jonas is selected as his community’s next Receiver of Memory in this famous dystopian story. This is a must read. Author Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver. 

4. The Fourteenth Goldfish

by Jennifer L. Holm 

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

Ellie likes her life and hates change. One day, a new kid shows up in school, and he reminds Ellie an awful lot of her grandfather…her grandfather who has always been obsessed with immortality. 

5. A Snicker of Magic

by Natalie Lloyd 

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

Felicity and her family move to the town of Midnight Gulch for her mother’s new job, but Felicity doesn’t trust that it will last long. Her mother is cursed with a wandering heart, after all.  But Felicity soon learns that Midnight Gulch was once a magical place until a curse drove away all the magic. She starts to think that, if she can get the magic to return, maybe her mother will finally settle down, too. 

6. The Invention of Hugo Cabret

by Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Don’t let students be intimidated by the 500+ pages in this book, Hugo Cabret is a wonder. It’s part graphic novel, part text, and a whole lot of wonder. Hugo survives as an orphan on the streets of London by helping wind an old clock and through thieving. All of this changes and Hugo’s secrets threaten to come spilling out when he crosses paths with an old toy shop owner. 

7. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park 

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

The Sudanese water crisis is told through two perspectives – that of Nya, a Sudanese girl in 2008 who walks two hours to retrieve water, and Salva, in 1985, who becomes one of the lost boys of Sudan. This is based on a true story and is extremely powerful. 

8. Inside Out and Back Again

by Thanhha Lai

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Hà loves her home in Vietnam, but when the Vietnam War reaches Saigon, her family boards a ship headed for the United States. Hà tells her story in verse, and it is based on the author’s childhood. 

9. The Girl Who Drank the Moon

by Kelly Barnhill 

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

The witch in the forest, Xan, is kind, but the people of the Protectorate don’t know this. They leave her an offering each year – an offering of a child. Xan takes the children and places them with adoptive families in a neighboring town. One year, Xan decides to keep a child and raise her as her own. This child is Luna, and as Luna turns 13, her magic starts to unfold while a man from the Protectorate is on a mission to kill the witch and free his people. 

by Pam Munoz Ryan 

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

Echo is very impressive middle grade magical realism. This is the story of three children who are connected by a magic harmonica in the World War II era. It’s hard to put down. 

11. Amal Unbound

by Aisha Saeed 

Amal Unbound

A young Pakastani girl, Amal, is forced into indentured servitude by her village’s corrupt landlord. Amal is determined to make sure her dreams aren’t dashed in the process. 

12. Playing Atari With Saddam Hussein by Jennifer Roy with Ali Fadhil 

Playing Atari With Saddam Hussein by Jennifer Roy with Ali Fadhil

Ali Fadhil is 11 years old in 1991 when Saddam Hussein goes to war with the United States. Ali’s father is a medic and is sent to war. The family spends the duration of the war trying to survive.

13. 14 Hollow Road

by Jenn Bishop 

14 Hollow Road by Jenn Bishop

Maddie’s sixth grade dance is abruptly ended  when a tornado races through her town, destroying her family’s home and the home of her crush, Avery. A neighbor opens their home to both Maddie and Avery’s families, and suddenly, Maddie is spending the summer living with the boy she likes. 

14. All’s Faire in Middle School

by Victoria Jamieson 

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson

Imogene, or Impy, has been homeschooled by her two parents who work at a renaissance fair. She is convinced she has what it takes to be brave like a knight, and her noble quest is enrolling in public school, just in time to try to survive middle school. 

15. Death on the River of Doubt: Teddy Roosevelt’s Amazon Adventure by Samantha Seiple

Death on the River of Doubt: Teddy Roosevelt's Amazon Adventure by Samantha Seiple

Theodore Roosevelt and his two sons were given the opportunity to map an uncharted river in the Amazon jungle in 1913. They faced many dangers, and this is a really engaging account of that journey. 

16. A Dog in the Cave: The Wolves Who Made Us Human by Kay Frydenborg

A Dog in the Cave: The Wolves Who Made Us Human by Kay Frydenborg

This is a really unique nonfiction book for the middle school set. Most middle grade nonfiction is encyclopedic in nature, whereas this is a novel-length science text telling the story of man’s domestication of wolves, and the ways that those early canines influenced our evolution, too. 

17. American Pharoah: Triple Crown Champion by Shelley Fraser Mickle

American Pharoah: Triple Crown Champion by Shelley Fraser Mickle

This is the life story of American Pharoah, the horse that won the Triple Crown in 2015. The story goes into great detail about the horse himself as well as the trainers, breeders, and jockey who were a part of his team. 

18. Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail 

Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail

Gracie likes A.J., but A.J. likes her best friend Sienna. So Gracie plays Horatio for Sienna, writing texts to A.J. for her, all the while assuring herself that she’s just fine with the arrangement. 

19. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

by Wendy Mass

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass

Right before Jeremy’s thirteenth birthday, a mysterious box arrives in the mail. A letter proclaims that this box holds the meaning of life for Jeremy but the key is missing. Jeremy sets off with his best friend to find the key and open the box. 

20. Hello Universe

by Erin Entrada Kelly 

Hello Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Chet Bullins pulls a prank gone wrong and shy Virgil Salinas ends up at the bottom of a well with his pet guinea pig. When three other kids, Valencia, Gen, and Kaori, realize Virgil is missing, they set out to find him. 

21. Dead End in Norvelt

by Jack Gantos

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Jack Gantos is grounded for life. His mom assigns him to a local neighbor to help type obituaries for the iconic people in his town. A mystery begins to unfold as Jack notices some unusual details in the obituaries that start painting a bigger picture of intrigue.   

22. The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

by Janet Fox 

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox

Kat and her brother are sent to a Scottish moor to escape the bombing of London. They wind up at Rookskill Castle and are quite convinced the castle is haunted – or worse. 

23. Under the Mesquite

by Guadalupe Garcia McCall 

Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Lupita’s Mami is diagnosed with cancer, and Lupita abandons her adolescent worries to do everything she can to save Mami’s life. This includes babysitting her seven younger siblings. This is a gorgeous coming-of-age story written in verse. 

24. All the Broken Pieces

by Ann E. Burg

All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg

Matt Pin was airlifted from his war-torn home in Vietnam and adopted by a family in the United States. This novel in verse is a story of healing as Matt faces fears, uncertainty, and prejudice in his new home. 

25. Inkheart

by Cornelia Funke

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Meggie’s father reads her a bedtime story and accidentally releases a villian into the real world. Meggie must stop him. This is the first in a trilogy. 

26. Trudy’s Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World

by Storm written by Sue Macy and illustrated by Matt Collins

Trudy’s Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm written by Sue Macy and illustrated by Matt Collins

Yet another incredible picture book biography, this one about Gertrude Ederle who became the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Really excellent back matter gives more biographical information than the story itself. 

27. Wolf Hollow

by Lauren Wolk

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Annabelle recognizes a bully as soon as Betty Glengarry moves to town. Betty’s bullying soon makes reclusive neighbor Toby, a friend of Annabelle’s, a target. She determines she will put a stop to Betty. 

28. The Golden Compass

by Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Orphan Lyra Belacqua lives a happy life among the scholars of Jordan College until one day her uncle, Lord Asriel visits the college along with Mrs. Coulter. Both adults seem to hold the key to the epidemic of children who have been disappearing lately. This is the first in a bestselling trilogy that warns about the corrupting power of religion (and is thus controversial and often challenged). 

29. Among the Hidden

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This dystopian novel imagines a world where parents are only allowed two children. Luke is a third, a shadow child, and he lives his life in hiding. This is the first book in the Shadow Children series. 

30. She Loves You: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah by Ann Hood

She Loves You: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah by Ann Hood

Trudy Mixer is 12 years old and life is pretty rough. Her beloved Beatles fan club is down to three of the least popular kids in the school. Trudy sets out to see The Beatles when they come to Boston, quite the feat for a middle schooler living in Rhode Island. 

31. The Length of a String

by Elissa Brent Weissman

The Length of a String by Elissa Brent Weissman

Imani, who is adopted, decides she is finally ready to find her birth parents. Her search turns inward when her great-grandmother passes away and Imani finds her diary, which details her fleeing from the Nazi regime. 

32. Marabel and the Book of Fate

by Tracy Barrett

Marabel and the Book of Fate by Tracy Barrett

Princess Marabel has lived in the shadow of her twin brother, Marco, her whole life. But on their thirteenth birthday, Marco is kidnapped and Marabel has a chance to save the day. 

33. Squirrel Power: Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1

by North Henderson 

Squirrel Power: Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1 by North Henderson

Doreen Green is a friend of Tony Stark, and like most of Stark’s friends, she has a superhero alter ego as Squirrel Girl. She is a college student by day and crime-fighting superhero at night. This is the first of five volumes. 

34. The Inventors at No. 8 by A.M. Morgen

The Inventors at No. 8 by A.M. Morgen

George is an orphan, and when he finds out that his family heirloom, a map to the Star of Victory, has been stolen, it’s the last straw. He sets out, along with Ada Lovelace, to get the map back. 

35. Rising Above: Inspiring Women in Sports

by Gregory Zuckerman with Gabriel and Elijah Zuckerman

Rising Above: Inspiring Women in Sports by Gregory Zuckerman with Gabriel and Elijah Zuckerman

The women profiled in this nonfiction book are household names – Simone Biles, Venus and Serena Williams, and so many more. This is a collection of biographies of women athletes who overcame tremendous obstacles to rise to the top in their sports. 

36. The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden 

The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden

This book tackles difficult issues like the gun debate and domestic violence through the eyes of Zoey. Zoey, her siblings, and her mom live with Lenny in the most comfortable home they’ve ever known. When Zoey is asked to join the debate team, she starts noticing things through different eyes and finds a voice to speak up. 

by Barbara O’Connor

Wish by Barbara O'Connor

Charlie does not know what it means to have a “put together” family. She is sent to live in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her aunt and uncle. Here, she meets a stray dog christened Wishbone and meets Howard, who becomes her close friend. This book deals heavily with the theme of abandoned children, making it a read that is at time difficult. 

by John David Anderson 

Posted by John David Anderson

Cell phones are banned from Branton Middle School, so the kids must resort to leaving old-fashioned notes for each other in the form of sticky notes left around the school. This book looks at the power of words to hurt and to heal. 

39. One Shadow on the Wall

by Leah Henderson 

One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson

Mor made a promise to his father on his father’s death bed – to keep his sisters safe and keep the family together. Yet, try as he might, the pressures of these promises seem to great for an 11 year old. This novel’s back drop is modern-day Senegal. 

40. Amina’s Voice

by Hena Kahn 

Amina's Voice by Hena Kahn

Amina, a Pakistani-American girl, faces all the usual pressures of middle school. Her best friend starts talking about changing her name to something more American and Amina starts grappling with her identity. Meanwhile, a neighborhood mosque is vandalized in a hate crime. 

41. Wild Bird

by Wendelin Van Draanen

Wild Bird by Wendelin Van Draanen

Wren is enrolled in a survivalist wilderness therapy class after her parents don’t know how to handle her anymore. She arrives at camp bitter and angry, but during her eight-week stay in the wild, she finds redemption. 

42. The Cat Ate My Gymsuit

by Paula Danziger

The Cat Ate My Gymsuit by Paula Danziger

Marcy finds her life pretty boring. School is stupid. Her dad verbally abuses her and her mother. But when Ms. Finney becomes Marcy’s English teacher and actually treats her like a person, Marcy checks back into life. 

43. Ninth Ward

by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Ninth Ward is about a 12-yera-old girl who lives through Hurricane Katrina with her family and friends in New Orleans. It does a nice job contextualizing and explaining the natural disaster to children. 

44. See You in the Cosmos

by Jack Cheng 

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

Alex’s hero is astronomer Carl Sagan. Sagan launched his Golden Record into space and Alex dreams of doing the same with an iPod containing his podcast.

45. The Friendship Experiment

by Erin Teagan 

The Friendship Experiment by Erin Teagan

Madeline Little wants to be a scientist, and she doesn’t have time for the fun and games of other kids her age. She doesn’t want to start middle school, she just wants to run experiments in her father’s lab. 

46. Front Desk

by Kelly Yang

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Mia’s family lives in a motel. Her parents, immigrants themselves, secretly hide away other immigrants in empty motel rooms, putting the whole family at risk. On top of that, Mia dreams of being a writer, though her first language isn’t English and her mother suggests she sticks to math. She’s in for a tough year!

47. Forever or a Long, Long Time

by Caela Carter

Forever or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter

Siblings Flora and Julian don’t trust the foster care system that has shuttled them from home to home, and they certainly don’t trust their adoptive parents. With the help of their new mom, the two siblings research their past so they can learn to trust again. 

48. Navigating Early

by Clare Vanderpool

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

Jack and Early are friends at a boys’ boarding school in Maine. During a school break, they set out to hike the Appalachian Trail searching for a black bear. This story is their odyssey, as they meet new friends (and enemies) and learn about themselves in the process. 

49. York by Laura Ruby 

York by Laura Ruby

In this alternate history, the Morningstar Twins helped build New York City into the city it is today. The twins disappeared, leaving the Old York Cipher behind them, a puzzle constructed by the architects that no one has been able to solve – until, that is, three modern-day kids band together to see if they can crack the code.

50. Denis Ever After

by Tony Abbott

Denis Ever After by Tony Abbott

Denis died seven years ago and has been stuck in limbo ever since, because his twin brother Matt cannot let him go. Denis goes back to help Matt uncover the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death so that he and his family can be at peace. 

Other book lists from Amy’s bookshelf you’ll love: 

  • 50 Must-Read Books for Kindergarteners
  • 50 Must-Read Books For First Graders
  • 50 Must-Read Books for Second Graders
  • 50 Must-Read Books For Third Graders
  • 50 Must-Read Books for Fourth Graders
  • 50 Must-Read Books For Fifth Graders
  • 50 Must-Read Books For Sixth Graders

50 Must-Read Books for 7th Graders


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25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

We’re going to need a bigger bookmark.

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Seventh grade is one of my favorite grades.

It’s the best of both worlds, middle school speaking. Students are “so past” the babyish immaturity of 6th graders, but not quite as jaded as their 8th grade counterparts. They’re too cool for the kind of silliness that totally derails class, but aren’t too cool for games or stickers. They’re just dipping their toes into who they are and their place in the world. And they’re (unfortunately for those of us who teach them and have to keep a straight face) hilarious.

The last year has seen a fantastic crop of books for this age, and our list is the perfect starting point for a 7th grade classroom or a 7th grader you know and love. While there are great lessons to be learned in each of these books, make sure to preview them before assigning or recommending them to ensure they’re a good fit for your kids.

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)

1. The Moth Keeper by K. O’Neill

The Moth Keeper—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

Anya protects the lunar moths that keep her village thriving. But what happens when being a moth-keeper isn’t all she thought it would be? Seventh graders will love this gorgeous graphic novel and the world K. O’Neill builds within it.

Buy it: T he Moth Keeper on Amazon

2. Finally Seen by Kelly Yang

Finally Seen—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

Lina Gao is finally joining her parents and sister in America after five long years of being separated. But so far life in America isn’t turning out to be what she thought: at school, at home, or anywhere in between. A story about courage, resilience, and high-achieving little sisters (ugh), Finally Seen will be a welcome addition to any classroom library.

Buy it: Finally Seen on Amazon

3. The Superteacher Project by Gordon Korman

The Superteacher Project—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

What if you found out your teacher was an AI robot from a top-secret experimental project? For Oliver Zahn, that question is about to become a reality. Seventh graders will love getting to the bottom of this hilarious, mysterious story.

Buy it: The Superteacher Project on Amazon

4. The Lost Year by Katherine Marsh

The Lost Year—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

So far, the pandemic is leading to a lot of stress and isolation for 13-year-old Matthew, who is dealing with big shifts in his family. But when he finds a clue in an old black-and-white photograph, he will learn that his family’s past contains a shocking story of strength and resilience from the Holodomor, the famine that killed millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s and was covered up for decades. This book, called “the resistance novel for our times” by the New York Times, will hook your 7th graders from the first chapter.

Buy it: The Lost Year on Amazon

5. The Town With No Mirrors by Christina Collins

The Town With No Mirrors 25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

At first glance, the town of Gladder Hill seems like a utopia. Everyone seems happy in this town that has outlawed cameras and mirrors. But when Zailey is determined to see her face for the first time, she unlocks a world of knowledge that might unravel the history of her town and herself. Ask your 7th graders, “What would life be like if we didn’t have cameras or mirrors?” and they’ll be fully committed to find out what happens in this book.

Buy it: The Town With No Mirrors on Amazon

6. The Paper Daughters of Chinatown by Heather B. Moore and Allison Hong Merrill

The Paper Daughters of Chinatown—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

When Tai Choi is sold into slavery to pay for her father’s gambling debts, she is forced into a new life of huge change and hardship. She goes from Tai Choi to Tien Fu Wu, the name forged on her immigration papers, and from her home in the Zhejiang province of China to San Francisco. She is rescued from her life of servitude, but how can she trust her new friendship? Heather B. Moore and Allison Hong Merrill adapted a true story to this powerful, moving story for young readers that 7th graders (and their teachers) won’t be able to put down.

Buy it: The Paper Daughters of Chinatown on Amazon

7. Lolo’s Light by Liz Garton Scanlon

Lolo's Light—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

Grief. Guilt. Death. You might be tempted to think these are topics a middle school audience isn’t ready for, and yet these are topics middle schoolers are already facing . This is the story of Lolo, a main character 7th graders will love, who encounters an unavoidable tragedy when babysitting her neighbor’s child. Walking through Lolo’s thoughts, emotions, and responses offers 7th graders the opportunity to have important conversations about grief and death, but also about redemption and life.

Buy it: Lolo’s Light on Amazon

8. A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga

A Rover's Story

From the author of Other Words for Home , A Rover’s Story is a powerful tale told from the point of view of Resilience, a Mars rover. Res was made to explore Mars, but will he be able to conquer the harsh terrain of this new planet, or disappoint the legions of people watching his journey back home? (A note for teachers: A Rover’s Story is fantastic for teaching character development and point of view.)

Buy it: A Rover’s Story on Amazon

9. Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Hello, Universe—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

Chet, Kaori, Virgil, and Valencia couldn’t be more different. In fact, one of the only things bringing them together is that they live in the same neighborhood. But all of that is about to change when a prank puts Virgil and his guinea pig’s life in danger. All at once, he’ll need the intelligence, courage, and a little cosmic fairy dust from his neighborhood gang.

Buy it: Hello, Universe on Amazon

10. Life Skills for Tweens by Ferne Bowe

Life Skills for Tweens—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

There is one in every class. OK, there are several in every class: the kids who would rather watch informational TikToks than look at scores of memes. Kids who eschew fantasy and sci-fi with “Why would I want to read about something that isn’t real?” Life Skills for Tweens is perfect for those knowledge-hungry realists, with how-tos on everything from communication and self-regulation skills to keeping calm in emergencies.

Buy it: Life Skills for Tweens on Amazon

11. Calling the Moon: 16 Period Stories From BIPOC Authors, an anthology edited by Aida Salazar and Saied Méndez

Calling the Moon—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

If you’re watching Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret this summer, this anthology with 16 short stories about menstruation is a perfect companion. Written by authors who are Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color, Calling the Moon showcases coming-of-age stories that range from hilarious to heartrending, helping readers understand they’re not alone in the period wilderness.

Buy it: Calling the Moon on Amazon

12. As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh

As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

To stay and fight for a country you love or escape and survive? This speculative novel about the Syrian Revolution will have 7th graders hanging on Katouh’s every word. Something to note: Fans of The Book Thief will love As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow , particularly the way fear is personified as Salama’s companion Khawf.

Buy it: As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow on Amazon

13. Once Upon a K-Prom by Kat Cho

Once Upon a K-Prom—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

Kat Cho has done it. First, she has taken the secret dream of so many teenagers and written it down in book form: What if a K-pop star asked you to prom? Then, she has horrified legions of K-pop fans with: What if you’re not sure you want to go? Once Upon a K-Prom is fun and funny, and it’s one of those books that will entertain your 7th graders’ inner fanfolks.

Buy it: Once Upon a K-Prom on Amazon

14. Miss Quinces by Kat Fajardo

Miss Quinces—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

Sue can’t wait to go to summer camp with her friends and make comics all day. So when her family announces they’re going to visit relatives in a remote area of Honduras with no cell service or Internet and they’re throwing her a surprise quinceañera complete with giant fluffy dress, she wonders if it’s humanly possible for her life to get worse. Kat Fajardo’s debut graphic novel is a hilarious journey about family, tradition, and self-discovery, perfect for middle schoolers.

Buy it: Miss Quinces on Amazon

15. Azar on Fire by Olivia Abtahi

Azar on Fire—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

After a condition in infancy damaged her vocal chords, Azar has decided to stay silent in high school. But when she hears about a local Battle of the Bands concert, she can’t resist—will she end up speaking to her crush to convince him to sing vocals, or miss out on a dream altogether? If you’re looking for books for 7th graders who love both music and feisty main characters, try Azar on Fire .

Buy it: Azar on Fire on Amazon

16. Camp QUILTBAG by Nicole Melleby

Camp QUILTBAG—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

Twelve-year-old Abigail can’t wait to go to the inclusive camp for queer and trans kids, Camp QUILTBAG. Thirteen-year-old Kai is … not excited to be there. After a rocky start, the two make a pact to help each other in navigating camp life—will it end in success or disaster? We’re grateful for Nicole Melleby’s work in making sure all kids are represented in literature .

Buy it: Camp QUILTBAG on Amazon

17. The Track Series by Jason Reynolds

25 Best New Books for 7th Graders Track Series

Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu ended up on the same elite track team together. However, they’re worlds apart in terms of pretty much everything else. Seventh graders will love this series—each is told from a different character’s perspective—and teachers will love the insights that happen when reading the same story from a different perspective.

Buy it: The Track Series on Amazon

18. This Is How I Roll by Debbi Michiko Florence

This is How I Roll 25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

Your sushi-loving 7th graders (and even those who blanche at raw fish) will love this story about Susannah Mikami. Susannah dreams of being a famous sushi chef like her father, but he won’t teach her his skills (and won’t say why). Suddenly, cute Koji rolls around and offers to film her skills and share them with the world. Will she lie to her parents or go after her dreams?

Buy it: This Is How I Roll on Amazon

19. Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow

Simon Sort of Says—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

Simon O’Keefe is a funny kid with a seriously quirky family. But his life turns upside down when he is the lone survivor of a school shooting. He and his family move to the National Quiet Zone, the only place in America where the Internet is banned. Instead of journalists hounding him to talk about the incident, the NQZ is full of astronomers using the quiet to look for signs of life in space. What if Simon finds it? This review speaks to where the book meets 7th graders: “Blunt as trauma, delicate as healing, and hilarious and tragic as middle school can be. This book is as close to everything as one book can be.”—Kyle Lukoff, Newbery Honor–winning author of Too Bright to See 

Buy it: Simon Sort of Says on Amazon

20. Izzy at the End of the World by K.A. Reynolds

Izzy at the End—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

For Izzy Wilder, an autistic 14-year-old, losing her mom felt like the end of the world. That is until the world actually ends amid mysterious flashing lights, and Izzy and her dog, Akka, are seemingly the only survivors. Izzy embarks on a journey of regulating her anxiety, interpreting clues for survival that seem like they’re from her mom, and battling some seriously intimidating monsters. If you’re looking for books to hook your 7th graders, give them this nail-biting adventure novel!

Buy it: Izzy at the End of the World on Amazon

21. The House Swap by Yvette Clark

The House Swap—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

Sometimes you just need a Parent Trap meets The Holiday book, you know? Your 7th graders will love this story of friendship, family, and belonging about Allie and Sage, two girls from across the world who become friends (and confidantes about their family issues) when their families swap houses on vacation.

Buy it: The House Swap on Amazon

22. Not an Easy Win by Chrystal D. Giles

Not an Easy Win—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

Twelve-year-old Lawrence moved to live with his granny in another city. He then promptly got expelled for a fight that wasn’t his fault. Instead of school, he goes to the rec center where a neighbor is running a chess program. Lawrence has a chance to compete in a chess tournament in his home city. Could this be his ticket home? Whether you’re looking for books for 7th graders who love chess or just love an endearing character, Not an Easy Win is a double check in our book.

Buy it: Not an Easy Win on Amazon

23. Iceberg by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Iceberg—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

Hold please, while my inner 7th grader screeches with anticipation. OK, thank you. This book follows Hazel Rothbury’s stowaway voyage on the Titanic as she travels to work in a factory to help make ends meet for her family. While exploring the fancy ship in secret, she encounters a mystery—one that only gets more dangerous when disaster strikes on the Titanic . Adventure meets mystery meets survival? I’m just calling it now: This will be one of those books your 7th graders (or your inner 7th grader) will want to reread.

Buy it: Iceberg on Amazon

24. A Bit of Earth by Karuna Riazi

A Bit of Earth

The Secret Garden meets Other Words for Home ? Say no more. To give her a better life, Maria Latif’s parents have sent her from her home in Pakistan to Long Island, New York. Her new life is in many ways not what she expects, the least of all being a secret garden where she feels at home. Peppered with beautiful poetic verses, A Bit of Earth is one of those perfect books for 7th graders to pair with The Secret Garden for a classic/contemporary comparison.

Buy it: A Bit of Earth on Amazon

25. Hamra and the Jungle of Memories by Hanna Alkaf

Hamar and the Jungle of Memories—25 Best New Books for 7th Graders

Haven’t we all gotten mad that our family forgot our birthday and wandered into a forbidden forest? No? OK, maybe just Hamra, the lead character in Hamra and the Jungle of Memories . After breaking every rule of the jungle, Hamra soon discovers she’ll have to embark on the adventure of a lifetime to undo its curse involving mythical beasts, fantastical worlds, and her own courage.

Buy it: Hamra and the Jungle of Memories on Amazon

Love these books for 7th graders? Check out our big list of 50 Refreshing and Relatable Books to Teach in Middle School for even more great books for 7th graders to add to your classroom library.

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best books for a 7th grade book report

Middle Grade Magic: Great Books for 7th Graders

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Ashlie Swicker

Ashlie (she/her) is an educator, librarian, and writer. She is committed to diversifying the reading lives of her students and supporting fat acceptance as it intersects with other women’s issues. She's also perpetually striving to learn more about how she can use her many privileges to support marginalized groups. Interests include learning how to roller skate with her local roller derby team, buying more books than she'll ever read, hiking with her husband and sons, and making lists to avoid real work. You can find her on Instagram (@ashlieelizabeth), Twitter (@mygirlsimple) or at her website,

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With most schools and libraries closed across the country closed, parents are left scrambling in a lot of ways: distance learning, social opportunities, and summer reading come to mind. Here is one thing you can cross off the list—below is a curated list of great books for 7th graders. Whether your middle schooler is looking to get lost in a fantasy or stay on top of recent award winners, there are some recs to try! (Pro tip: most of these are also excellent read-alouds for younger kiddos, and I’m an adult librarian who enjoyed them immensely, too!)

Classic Books for 7th Graders

Running out of time by margaret peterson haddix.

This book, which was ruthlessly ripped off in the movie The Village , opens with a young girl finding out that her colonial-era life is an elaborate charade for a tourist destination and she is actually living in the ’90s. It gets even better from there.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A classic for a reason—amazing quotes, spunky female main character, sci-fi magic. Join Meg, Calvin, and her little brother Charles Wallace as they travel across time to rescue her father. The graphic novel version is absolutely amazing, as well.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

A companion piece to A Wrinkle in Time set in the late ’70s, it offers everything from familiar adolescent growing pains to magically beautiful time travel. This book is hauntingly beautiful and very typical, a rare gem.

Graphic Novels for 7th Graders

Sheets by brenna thummler.

A ghostly graphic novel without a single scare, this sweet and sad story is complimented by a soft blue color palate.

Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neil

This awesome story destroys gender roles during a fun fantasy romp. Katie O’Neil is a favorite among my 5th grade students and the art is breathtaking.

Hey Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka

My students love graphic novels that tell family stories, and Hey Kiddo does not disappoint; this graphic memoir includes photographs and artifacts from the author’s life and has struck a chord with many.

Fantasy Books for 7th Graders

Aru shah and the end of time by roshani chokshi.

One of the amazing books from Rick Riordan’s imprint, the Aru Shah series is a family FAVORITE at my house. Fun, exciting, full of Hindu mythology presented with a fresh, modern spin…each new character quickly becomes beloved and most will make you laugh out loud at least once.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

As lush and gorgeous as the title, this fantasy has a classic feel: forest witches, tiny dragons, eating starlight, missions to save the village, and dangerous/exciting spikes of magic.

Books Set At School for 7th Graders

Star-crossed by barbara dee.

The best books are set against the backdrop of school plays, and Star Crossed is set in a production of Romeo and Juliet . Mattie is smitten with the lead playing Juliet, and also her longtime crush Elijah. Her romantic feelings play out as the highs and lows of a middle school Shakespearean production surge. Empowering and sweet.

The Best At It by Maulik Pancholy

Rahul, a gay Indian American boy, experiences highs and lows while navigating middle school with his grandfather’s advice ringing in his ears: find one thing you’re good at, and become the BEST at it. Praises sung over the representation of the roller coaster that is middle school.

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake

Ivy Aberdeen has been through a literal tornado: her family is displaced, she feels ignored, and the worst thing of all is that her secret drawings of girls holding hands with girls is missing. Soon she starts getting messages in her locker, encouraging her to open up about who she is. Is it the girl she has a crush on?

Award-Winning Books for 7th Graders

Sal and gabi break the universe by carlos hernandez.

Incredibly strong characters, unique family structures, science fiction wonder, slight-of-hand magic, parallel universes, grief and mourning…all against the backdrop of the typical middle school struggles. This was an absolute joy to read.

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

This book plunges you quickly into duel tragedies—a school bus accident that tortures Tristan, and the ruined world of Alke, where something sinister is destroying the settings of treasured African American folk tales. About the power of the stories we’re living and the ones we tell ourselves.

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Mia is a young girl helping her parents run a motel. As Chinese immigrants, the family sees enormous employment discrimination, both towards themselves and their community…until they start to take matters into their own hands.

New Kid by Jerry Craft

Seventh grader Jerry loves comics and longs to go to art school, but instead his family sends him to a private school outside of his neighborhood, where he is one of the only kids of color. New Kid follows Jerry as he navigates his school life, his old friends, and the confusion of being a middle schooler in general.

Books About Awesome Kids for 7th Graders

The vanderbeekers of 141st street by karina yan glaser.

Set at Christmas, a winning family story about a group of kids determined to convince their grumpy landlord to renew their lease. The Vanderbeekers will work their way quickly into your heart.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Dean Hale and Shannon Hale

No one is better than Doreen Green, age 13. This was a DELIGHTFUL audio listen, with excellent characters and lots of Avengers tie ins to please everyone. Squirrels, super powers, an amazing teenaged girl, and some pretty supportive parents, which is always a bonus.

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy

Patricia “Sweet Pea” DiMarco is dealing with a lot: divorced parents, an ex–best friend, and the general turmoil of growing up. When her neighbor, an advice columnist, asks Sweet Pea to forward her letters while on vacation, Sweet Pea recognizes the handwriting on one of the letters, and what happens next will change Sweet Pea (and all in her circle) forever!

Nonfiction Books for 7th Graders

Rad girls can: stories of bold, brave, and brilliant young women by kate schatz and miriam klein stahl.

Profiles of amazing girls who have changed the world, with stunning papercut illustrations. Perfect for dipping in and out while learning about awesome history.

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian Football Team by Steve Shenkin

Tackling (no pun intended) both American football history and the horrible, continuing history of the U.S. government’s treatment of Native Americans and their erasure of American Indian culture. A sports underdog story that will draw even reluctant readers.

Hopefully you can find some books for the 7th graders in your life in this list. The bonus is that several of these have great sequels or start a series. Looking for more magic? Check out this list of graphic novels for middle schoolers . Happy reading!

best books for a 7th grade book report

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Home » Reading lists for Middle School children » 7th grade reading books for children aged 12-13

7th grade reading books for children aged 12-13

Books for grade 7 – this list of suggested reading books for grade 7 has been curated and compiled for middle and high school students aged 12-13. There is a range of exciting and thought-provoking books to suit all abilities in the 7th Grade, including easy readers and more difficult texts. This list of 7th grade reading recommendations includes titles by Lois Lowry, Lana Krumwiede, Markus Zusak, Kwame Alexander and S.E. Hinton.

Books for 7th graders

Books for Grade 7 – our recommendations

Starfish by lisa fipps.

Using free verse, 12-year-old Ellie tells the reader about her swimming pool safe place where she can escape a world that fat shames and bullies her. With the help of her new neighbor, her dad, and her therapist, Ellie grows in confidence. An inspiring, empowering, and personal story that will appeal to less confident readers. Perfect for book club discussion.

Starfish by Lisa Fipps

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

Amal’s dreams of being a teacher when she’s older are put on hold when she has to look after her siblings instead of going to school in rural Pakistan. But her hope is further shattered when she is forced into working for a rich family to pay off a family debt. The corruption she sees and the enemies she makes put her in grave danger. Will she be able to save her family and realize her dreams? A sparkling story of bravery, resilience, justice, and revenge.

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente

To keep themselves from thinking about being sent away to boarding school, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne Brontë create a game to pass the time. But in a spectacular story of enchantment, their Glass Town game comes alive, their toy soldiers have real weapons, and there’s a magic potion to be found and fought over. Highly recommended, this is a highly original and imaginative fantasy.

The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente

Small Town Pride by Phil Stamper

When 13-year-old Jake comes out, his family and his friends at middle school are supportive. But the same cannot be said for the small-town mindset of Barton Springs, Ohio. When Jake’s father shows his support by planting an enormous pride flag in their front yard, the townsfolk feel threatened and raise concerns with the Mayor. But Jake is not deterred and becomes determined to organize a town pride parade. In an era of book bannings and veiled homophobia, this heartwarming and positive book is a breath of fresh air.

Small Town Pride by Phil Stamper

New Kid by Jerry Craft

Jordan loves to draw – especially cartoons. Denied the chance to go to art school by his parents, he is sent to an upmarket academic school away from his friends. Jordan has to find a new path and adapt to his new surroundings. A graphic novel – this will appeal to reluctant middle school readers.

New Kid by Jerry Craft

A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata

An insightful chapter book that covers a less well known period of history. A Japanese / American family released from internment after WW2 are pressured to revoke their US citizenship and return to Japan. Bewildered hurt, and confused over her identity, young Hana finds herself living near Hiroshima with her elderly grandparents. Starvation, disease and the difficulty of coping with an unfamiliar Japanese culture awaken Hana to the realities of war.

A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata

The Giver by Lois Lowry

When 12-year-old Jonas is appointed the Receiver of Memory he starts to uncover and understand the buried secrets held by the people he lives amongst. The first in a gripping quartet.

The Giver by Lois Lowry - books for 7th grade

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

When Winnie Foster stumbles upon a fountain of eternal youth she thinks all her prayers are answered. But then she meets a family who drank from the spring water. Will she decide to live forever? Will she keep the magic water secret? A modern classic and an ideal seventh-grade group reader.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

When millionaire Samuel Westing dies, he leaves a will like no other. Sixteen people will have to play a cunning game to inherit his vast fortune. A cracking page-turner which will appeal to young adults.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D Schmidt

Told over the course of one year between 1967 and 1968 in Long Island, this novel follows Holling, a seventh-grader who juggles his home life, getting into trouble at school and growing up amid the backdrop of the Vietnam War. Great to read in one sitting.

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D Schmidt

Watership Down by Richard Adams

An atmospheric quest story about a group of rabbits fleeing from danger to danger in search of a peaceful and safe life. When Fiver, Hazel, Bigwig, and friends think they’ve found the perfect location, events take a turn for the worse. An ideal 7th grade reading book for more advanced students.

Watership Down by Richard Adams

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

A stunning story, set entirely in verse, about two brothers who compete against each other in life and on the basketball court. Gripping and ideal for reluctant readers.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

When Cole Mathews commits a terrible crime, the judge gives him an unusual choice: jail time or a rehabilitation program on a remote Alaskan wilderness island He chooses the latter and soon has to fight for his life in a captivating story of survival and iron will. A great addition to a 7th grade reading bookshelf.

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

A captivating and gripping story – told from the eyes of death – and set in Nazi Germany in 1939 which follows Liesel, a girl who steals books. A surprising friendship develops which allows her to read the vast library of a local dignitary. Her view of the world changes completely. A challenging and thought-provoking book for a 7th grade reading list.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

A multi-award-winning middle-grade fantasy novel about Xan, a girl who breaks a sacred tradition and feeds a baby bound for sacrifice with moonlight. As a result, the child grows to become extraordinarily powerful with dangerous magical abilities.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Snow White by Matt Phelan

A highly engaging graphic novel film noir style retelling of the Snow White tale. Set in 1930s New York, Samantha White has come home after years of exile, protected by seven street urchins. With vibrant artwork, this book is great for reluctant seventh-grade readers.

Snow White by Matt Phelan

Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan

Cast down from Mouth Olympus by his angry father Zeus, Apollo finds himself fending for himself as a regular teen boy in New York. A regular teen with no superhuman powers. Can he ever make it up with his father and return to the gods?

Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

After years of saving and waiting, Billy buys two pups, Old Dan and Little Ann. Soon he feels invincible, exploring the Ozarks with his stellar hunting dogs. But danger lurks just around the corner. This modern classic is a perfect easy reader for 7th grade.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D Schmidt

A startling and moving story about family and sacrifice. 12-year-old Joe narrates the story of his friend Joseph, a father at the age of 13, but he has never seen his daughter and will do anything to find her. A gripping page-turner for more mature seventh-grade readers.

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D Schmidt

The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer

An epic fantasy series about Alex and Conner, twin brothers who find themselves embroiled in adventures in a fairy tale world after reading from a strange and magical book. This is an addictive and enthralling set of books which is bound to appeal to reluctant readers in grade 7.

The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer

Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer

The year is 793 in a quiet Saxon settlement. When Viking Berserkers appear from the mist and kidnap 11-year-old Jack, he and his sister are thrown into an epic quest with Olaf One-Brow.

Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer

The Pigman by Paul Zindel

When a practical joke goes badly wrong the unforeseen consequences last longer than high school friends John and Lorraine could ever have imagined. Perhaps their only chance of redemption is for them to tell the story of Pigman. A classic young adult novel ideal for more advanced readers.

The Pigman by Paul Zindel

Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen

In a sequel to Hatchet, Gary Paulsen asks the question – what if Brian hadn’t been rescued? What if he had to survive long enough to face the dangers of winter? Will he survive? Find out in this thrilling and exciting adventure.

Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen

The Girl with the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano

A fun and easier read for children in grade 7. When Emmaline’s mother dies suddenly, her father Monsieur Beaumont tries to build a ghost machine. But when he spends longer and longer on the machine, Emmaline decides she must either destroy it or make it work herself. An ideal book to use in class when discussing loss or grief.

The Girl with the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

When Marty finds a stray dog in the woods, the beagle soon becomes the most important part of his life. But when he discovers who the dog ran away from, will the dangerous secret become too much for Marty to bear? A moving story that is perfect for less confident readers.

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Tex by SE Hinton

A thought-provoking and a character-driven novel about carefree Tex and his tense home life in the care of his resentful older brother. When their often absent father returns, Tex runs away and events spiral out of control. An ideal novel for 7th-grade book clubs.

Tex by SE Hinton

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Sophie and Agatha are sent to the school for Good and Evil where students are trained to be heroes and villains. A highly original and enchanting series of stories where which intertwine characters into fairy tales from which they must try to escape. Fast-paced – these books are ideal for less confident readers.

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt

When four siblings are abandoned by their mother in a parking lot they have to use their wits and luck to trek across America’s East Coastal Highway from Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Crisfield in Maryland where their grandmother lives. A more challenging read for seventh-grade students.

Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt

Counting by Sevens by Holly Goldberg Sloan

A story of triumph in the face of adversity. When introverted Willow’s parents both die tragically in a car accident she finds herself completely alone in a world she already finds challenging. Will she ever be able to connect with people and have a normal family life? A great book for group discussion.

Counting by Sevens by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Nothing by the Truth by Avi

Philip is left out of the track team due to his English grades but Philip is convinced it is all because of his unfair teacher Miss Narwin. However, when he stages a rebellious protest, he isn’t prepared for what follows when it goes viral…

Nothing by the Truth by Avi

River Thunder by Will Hobbs

In this high-octane sequel to Downriver, each one of the teenage crew has something to prove. Can Trey learn to work with other people? Is Jessie brave enough? Can the crew survive the perilous rapids? A stimulating book that is ideal to provoke 7th-grade reading discussions.

River Thunder by Will Hobbs

Crown of Three by JD Rhinehart

Tarlan, Elodie, and Gulph are triplets with superpowers who have never met each other. Events conspire to force them together in this epic tale of good and evil in a magical land filled with danger. Will they fulfill the ancient prophecy and bring peace and harmony to the world?

Crown of Three by JD Rhinehart

Where the Lilies Bloom by Vera & Bill Cleaver

A classic historical drama that examines poverty and hardship in rural America. Mary Calls stops at nothing to carry out her dying father’s last wish to keep the family together. An uplifting tale of survival against the odds.

Where the Lilies Bloom by Vera & Bill Cleaver

Loot by Jude Watson

March’s father’s dying wish is for his son to find his long lost twin sister – Jules. But there’s no happy ending when he finds her – both are soon kept under lock and key in a dark orphanage. Will they find a way to escape and pull off the life-changing robbery their father had planned?

Loot by Jude Watson

Redwall by Brian Jacques

A despotic rat called Cluny the Scourge threatens to invade and conquer an enclave of peace-loving mice in Redwall Abbey. Seemingly, nothing can stop the rat army unless unlikely alliances can be made. A tale of good versus evil and an easier reader for children in the seventh grade.

Redwall by Brian Jacques

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Thomas knows who he is, but that’s it. Finding himself trapped in a walled encampment he has to choose friends and alliances carefully to survive the dangers of the maze. Thrilling and edgy, this story will appeal to reluctant readers. A captivating read for any 7th-grade reading group.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Absolute Value of Mike by Kathryn Erskine

Mike wants to relate to his dad, but that’s hard when his dad is obsessed with math. When Mike agrees to stay with relatives for the summer vacation to appease his father, he cannot imagine the adventure that awaits. A great story about the human condition.

The Absolute Value of Mike by Kathryn Erskine

Freakling by Lana Krumwiede

In this dark dystopian fantasy, Taemon unexpectedly loses his power to move objects with his mind – a power everyone in his world has. Faced with shame, discrimination and worse, how can he stop people from finding out? Or will the exile he fears turn out better than he could have imagined? An ideal novel for 7th-grade book clubs and class discussion.

Freakling by Lana Krumwiede

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

High fantasy adventure with Bilbo Baggins joins Gandalf on an epic quest to the Lonely Mountain where vast treasure and the fierce dragon Smaug await them. The prequel to The Lord of the Rings.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

Click the buttons below to purchase all of the books in this 7th grade book list, as well as classroom sets of any of these books and many more, from Or buy the 20 most popular titles from this list from Amazon – ideal for gifts or stocking your school library. If you are ordering from outside the US, have a look at our ‘worldwide orders’ page which makes this process easy.

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Best Books for 7th Graders

Check out the standout books for 7th graders, aggregated from top literary sources. these selections are the most mentioned and recommended across respected publications..

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best books for a 7th grade book report

How to Write a Book Report

Use the links below to jump directly to any section of this guide:

Book Report Fundamentals

Preparing to write, an overview of the book report format, how to write the main body of a book report, how to write a conclusion to a book report, reading comprehension and book reports, book report resources for teachers .

Book reports remain a key educational assessment tool from elementary school through college. Sitting down to close read and critique texts for their content and form is a lifelong skill, one that benefits all of us well beyond our school years. With the help of this guide, you’ll develop your reading comprehension and note-taking skills. You’ll also find resources to guide you through the process of writing a book report, step-by-step, from choosing a book and reading actively to revising your work. Resources for teachers are also included, from creative assignment ideas to sample rubrics.

Book reports follow general rules for composition, yet are distinct from other types of writing assignments. Central to book reports are plot summaries, analyses of characters and themes, and concluding opinions. This format differs from an argumentative essay or critical research paper, in which impartiality and objectivity is encouraged. Differences also exist between book reports and book reviews, who do not share the same intent and audience. Here, you’ll learn the basics of what a book report is and is not.

What Is a Book Report?

"Book Report" ( ThoughtCo )

This article, written by a professor emeritus of rhetoric and English, describes the defining characteristics of book reports and offers observations on how they are composed.

"Writing a Book Report" (Purdue OWL)

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab outlines the steps in writing a book report, from keeping track of major characters as you read to providing adequate summary material.

"How to Write a Book Report" ( Your Dictionary )

This article provides another helpful guide to writing a book report, offering suggestions on taking notes and writing an outline before drafting. 

"How to Write a Successful Book Report" ( ThoughtCo )

Another post from ThoughtCo., this article highlights the ten steps for book report success. It was written by an academic advisor and college enrollment counselor.

What’s the Difference Between a Book Report and an Essay?

"Differences Between a Book Report & Essay Writing" ( Classroom)

In this article from the education resource Classroom,  you'll learn the differences and similarities between book reports and essay writing.

"Differences Between a Book Report and Essay Writing" (

In this post from a Seattle newspaper's website, memoirist Christopher Cascio highlights how book report and essay writing differ.

"The Difference Between Essays and Reports" (Solent Online Learning)

This PDF from Southampton Solent University includes a chart demonstrating the differences between essays and reports. Though it is geared toward university students, it will help students of all levels understand the differing purposes of reports and analytical essays.

What’s the Difference Between a Book Report and a Book Review?

"How to Write a Book Review and a Book Report" (Concordia Univ.)

The library at Concordia University offers this helpful guide to writing book report and book reviews. It defines differences between the two, then presents components that both forms share.

"Book Reviews" (Univ. of North Carolina)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s writing guide shows the step-by-step process of writing book reviews, offering a contrast to the composition of book reports.

Active reading and thoughtful preparation before you begin your book report are necessary components of crafting a successful piece of writing. Here, you’ll find tips and resources to help you learn how to select the right book, decide which format is best for your report, and outline your main points.

Selecting and Finding a Book

"30 Best Books for Elementary Readers" (

This article from lists 30 engaging books for students from kindergarten through fifth grade. It was written by Esme Raji Codell, a teacher, author, and children's literature specialist.

"How to Choose a Good Book for a Report (Middle School)" (WikiHow)

This WikiHow article offers suggestions for middle schoolers on how to choose the right book for a report, from getting started early on the search process to making sure you understand the assignment's requirements.

"Best Book-Report Books for Middle Schoolers" (Common Sense Media)

Common Sense Media has compiled this list of 25 of the best books for middle school book reports. For younger students, the article suggests you check out the site's "50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They're 12."

"50 Books to Read in High School" (Lexington Public Library)

The Lexington, Kentucky Public Library has prepared this list to inspire high school students to choose the right book. It includes both classics and more modern favorites.

The Online Computer Library Center's catalogue helps you locate books in libraries near you, having itemized the collections of 72,000 libraries in 170 countries.

Formats of Book Reports

"Format for Writing a Book Report" ( Your Dictionary )

Here, Your Dictionary supplies guidelines for the basic book report format. It describes what you'll want to include in the heading, and what information to include in the introductory paragraph. Be sure to check these guidelines against your teacher's requirements.

"The Good Old Book Report" (Scholastic)

Nancy Barile’s blog post for Scholastic lists the questions students from middle through high school should address in their book reports.

How to Write an Outline

"Writer’s Web: Creating Outlines" (Univ. of Richmond)

The University of Richmond’s Writing Center shows how you can make use of micro and macro outlines to organize your argument.

"Why and How to Create a Useful Outline" (Purdue OWL)

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab demonstrates how outlines can help you organize your report, then teaches you how to create outlines.

"Creating an Outline" (EasyBib)

EasyBib, a website that generates bibliographies, offers sample outlines and tips for creating your own. The article encourages you to think about transitions and grouping your notes.

"How to Write an Outline: 4 Ways to Organize Your Thoughts" (Grammarly)

This blog post from a professional writer explains the advantages of using an outline, and presents different ways to gather your thoughts before writing.

In this section, you’ll find resources that offer an overview of how to write a book report, including first steps in preparing the introduction. A good book report's introduction hooks the reader with strong opening sentences and provides a preview of where the report is going.

"Step-by-Step Outline for a Book Report" ( Classroom )

This article from Classroom furnishes students with a guide to the stages of writing a book report, from writing the rough draft to revising.

"Your Roadmap to a Better Book Report" ( Time4Writing )

Time4Writing offers tips for outlining your book report, and describes all of the information that the introduction, body, and conclusion should include.

"How to Start a Book Report" ( ThoughtCo)

This ThoughtCo. post, another by academic advisor and college enrollment counselor Grace Fleming, demonstrates how to write a pithy introduction to your book report.

"How to Write an Introduction for a Book Report" ( Classroom )

This brief but helpful post from Classroom  details what makes a good book report introduction, down to the level of individual sentences.

The body paragraphs of your book report accomplish several goals: they describe the plot, delve more deeply into the characters and themes that make the book unique, and include quotations and examples from the book. Below are some resources to help you succeed in summarizing and analyzing your chosen text.

Plot Summary and Description

"How Do You Write a Plot Summary?" ( Reference )

This short article presents the goals of writing a plot summary, and suggests a word limit. It emphasizes that you should stick to the main points and avoid including too many specific details, such as what a particular character wears.

"How to Write a Plot for a Book Report" ( The Pen & The Pad )

In this article from a resource website for writers, Patricia Harrelson outlines what information to include in a plot summary for a book report. 

"How to Write a Book Summary" (WikiHow)

Using Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as an example, this WikiHow article demonstrates how to write a plot summary one step at a time.

Analyzing Characters and Themes

"How to Write a Character Analysis Book Report" ( The Pen & The Pad )

Kristine Tucker shows how to write a book report focusing on character. You can take her suggestions as they are, or consider  incorporating them into the more traditional book report format.

"How to Write a Character Analysis" (YouTube)

The SixMinuteScholar Channel utilizes analysis of the film  Finding Nemo to show you how to delve deeply into character, prioritizing inference over judgment.

"How to Define Theme" ( The Editor's Blog )

Fiction editor Beth Hill contributes an extended definition of theme. She also provides examples of common themes, such as "life is fragile."

"How to Find the Theme of a Book or Short Story" ( ThoughtCo )

This blog post from ThoughtCo. clarifies the definition of theme in relation to symbolism, plot, and moral. It also offers examples of themes in literature, such as love, death, and good vs. evil.

Selecting and Integrating Quotations

"How to Choose and Use Quotations" (Santa Barbara City College)

This guide from a college writing center will help you choose which quotations to use in your book report, and how to blend quotations with your own words.

"Guidelines for Incorporating Quotes" (Ashford Univ.)

This PDF from Ashford University's Writing Center introduces the ICE method for incorporating quotations: introduce, cite, explain.

"Quote Integration" (YouTube)

This video from The Write Way YouTube channel illustrates how to integrate quotations into writing, and also explains how to cite those quotations.

"Using Literary Quotations" (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison)

This guide from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Writing Center helps you emphasize your analysis of a quotation, and explains how to incorporate quotations into your text.

Conclusions to any type of paper are notoriously tricky to write. Here, you’ll learn some creative ways to tie up loose ends in your report and express your own opinion of the book you read. This open space for sharing opinions that are not grounded in critical research is an element that often distinguishes book reports from other types of writing.

"How to Write a Conclusion for a Book Report" ( Classroom )

This brief article from the education resource  Classroom illustrates the essential points you should make in a book report conclusion.

"Conclusions" (Univ. of North Carolina)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Writing Center lays out strategies for writing effective conclusions. Though the article is geared toward analytical essay conclusions, the tips offered here will also help you write a strong book report.

"Ending the Essay: Conclusions" (Harvard College Writing Center)

Pat Bellanca’s article for Harvard University’s Writing Center presents ways to conclude essays, along with tips. Again, these are suggestions for concluding analytical essays that can also be used to tie up a book report's loose ends.

Reading closely and in an engaged manner is the strong foundation upon which all good book reports are built. The resources below will give you a picture of what active reading looks like, and offer strategies to assess and improve your reading comprehension. Further, you’ll learn how to take notes—or “annotate” your text—making it easier to find important information as you write.

How to Be an Active Reader

"Active Reading Strategies: Remember and Analyze What You Read" (Princeton Univ.)

Princeton University’s McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning recommends ten strategies for active reading, and includes sample diagrams.

"Active Reading" (Open Univ.)

The Open University offers these techniques for reading actively alongside video examples. The author emphasizes that you should read for comprehension—not simply to finish the book as quickly as possible.

"7 Active Reading Strategies for Students" ( ThoughtCo )

In this post, Grace Fleming outlines seven methods for active reading. Her suggestions include identifying unfamiliar words and finding the main idea. 

"5 Active Reading Strategies for Textbook Assignments" (YouTube)

Thomas Frank’s seven-minute video demonstrates how you can retain the most important information from long and dense reading material.

Assessing Your Reading Comprehension

"Macmillan Readers Level Test" (MacMillan)

Take this online, interactive test from a publishing company to find out your reading level. You'll be asked a number of questions related to grammar and vocabulary.

"Reading Comprehension Practice Test" (ACCUPLACER)

ACCUPLACER is a placement test from The College Board. This 20-question practice test will help you see what information you retain after reading short passages.

"Reading Comprehension" ( English Maven )

The English Maven site has aggregated exercises and tests at various reading levels so you can quiz your reading comprehension skills.

How to Improve Your Reading Comprehension

"5 Tips for Improving Reading Comprehension" ( ThoughtCo )

ThoughtCo. recommends five tips to increase your reading comprehension ability, including reading with tools such as highlighters, and developing new vocabulary.

"How to Improve Reading Comprehension: 8 Expert Tips" (PrepScholar)

This blog post from PrepScholar provides ideas for improving your reading comprehension, from expanding your vocabulary to discussing texts with friends.

CrashCourse video: "Reading Assignments" (YouTube)

This CrashCourse video equips you with tools to read more effectively. It will help you determine how much material you need to read, and what strategies you can use to absorb what you read.

"Improving Reading Comprehension" ( Education Corner )

From a pre-reading survey through post-reading review, Education Corner  walks you through steps to improve reading comprehension.

Methods of In-text Annotation

"The Writing Process: Annotating a Text" (Hunter College)

This article from Hunter College’s Rockowitz Writing Center outlines how to take notes on a text and provides samples of annotation.

"How To Annotate Text While Reading" (YouTube)

This video from the SchoolHabits YouTube channel presents eleven annotation techniques you can use for better reading comprehension.

"5 Ways To Annotate Your Books" ( Book Riot )

This article from the Book Riot  blog highlights five efficient annotation methods that will save you time and protect your books from becoming cluttered with unnecessary markings.

"How Do You Annotate Your Books?" ( Epic Reads )

This post from Epic Reads highlights how different annotation methods work for different people, and showcases classic methods from sticky notes to keeping a reading notebook.

Students at every grade level can benefit from writing book reports, which sharpen critical reading skills. Here, we've aggregated sources to help you plan book report assignments and develop rubrics for written and oral book reports. You’ll also find alternative book report assessment ideas that move beyond the traditional formats.

Teaching Elementary School Students How to Write Book Reports

"Book Reports" ( Unique Teaching Resources )

These reading templates courtesy of Unique Teaching Resources make great visual aids for elementary school students writing their first book reports.

"Elementary Level Book Report Template" ( Teach Beside Me )

This   printable book report template from a teacher-turned-homeschooler is simple, classic, and effective. It asks basic questions, such as "who are the main characters?" and "how did you feel about the main characters?"

"Book Reports" ( ABC Teach )

ABC Teach ’s resource directory includes printables for book reports on various subjects at different grade levels, such as a middle school biography book report form and a "retelling a story" elementary book report template.

"Reading Worksheets" ( Busy Teacher's Cafe )

This page from Busy Teachers’ Cafe contains book report templates alongside reading comprehension and other language arts worksheets.

Teaching Middle School and High School Students How to Write Book Reports

"How to Write a Book Report: Middle and High School Level" ( Fact Monster)

Fact Monster ’s Homework Center discusses each section of a book report, and explains how to evaluate and analyze books based on genre for students in middle and high school.

"Middle School Outline Template for Book Report" (Trinity Catholic School)

This PDF outline template breaks the book report down into manageable sections for seventh and eighth graders by asking for specific information in each paragraph.

"Forms for Writing a Book Report for High School" ( Classroom )

In this article for Classroom,  Elizabeth Thomas describes what content high schoolers should focus on when writing their book reports.

"Forms for Writing a Book Report for High School" ( The Pen & The Pad )

Kori Morgan outlines techniques for adapting the book report assignment to the high school level in this post for The Pen & The Pad .

"High School Book Lists and Report Guidelines" (Highland Hall Waldorf School)

These sample report formats, grading paradigms, and tips are collected by Highland Hall Waldorf School. Attached are book lists by high school grade level.

Sample Rubrics

"Book Review Rubric Editable" (Teachers Pay Teachers)

This free resource from Teachers Pay Teachers allows you to edit your book report rubric to the specifications of your assignment and the grade level you teach.

"Book Review Rubric" (Winton Woods)

This PDF rubric from a city school district includes directions to take the assignment long-term, with follow-up exercises through school quarters.

"Multimedia Book Report Rubric" ( Midlink Magazine )

Perfect for oral book reports, this PDF rubric from North Carolina State University's Midlink Magazine  will help you evaluate your students’ spoken presentations.

Creative Book Report Assignments

"25 Book Report Alternatives" (Scholastic)

This article from the Scholastic website lists creative alternatives to the standard book report for pre-kindergarteners through high schoolers.

"Fresh Ideas for Creative Book Reports" ( Education World )

Education World offers nearly 50 alternative book report ideas in this article, from a book report sandwich to a character trait diagram.

"A Dozen Ways to Make Amazingly Creative Book Reports" ( We Are Teachers )

This post from We Are Teachers puts the spotlight on integrating visual arts into literary study through multimedia book report ideas.

"More Ideas Than You’ll Ever Use for Book Reports" (

This list from includes over 300 ideas for book report assignments, from "interviewing" a character to preparing a travel brochure to the location in which the book is set.

"Fifty Alternatives to the Book Report" (National Council of Teachers of English)

In this PDF resource from the NCTE's  English Journal,  Diana Mitchell offers assignment ideas ranging from character astrology signs to a character alphabet.

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Middle Grade Reads

20 Good Nonfiction Books for 7th Graders to Read

by Nikki | Jul 15, 2018 | Reading Lists | 0 comments

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Looking for some really good nonfiction books for 7th graders? These top 20 books introduce your tweens to a myriad of fascinating subjects and help them learn more about the world around them! From ancient art to modern technology, there’s something here for every interest!

Looking for some really good nonfiction books for 7th graders? These top 20 books introduce your tweens to a myriad of fascinating subjects and help them learn more about the world around them!

While I’ve always been a fiction kind of girl myself, my son is the opposite. Sure, he has his favorite fiction series (he’s especially into manga right now), but the bulk of his library consists of books filled with fun facts about his favorite subjects or how-to guides for his favorite games.

He’s learned more through reading nonfiction books that he picked out himself than he has in 7 years of elementary and middle school. Don’t get me wrong, school is important, but our kids are much more likely to retain information when they have some choice in how they receive it.

Since Jake just finished 7th grade, I thought now would be a great time to share some of the good nonfiction books that taught him so much throughout the year! Check them out!

Good Nonfiction Books for 7th Graders to Read

*The book links are affiliate links, which means that I earn a tiny commission (at no extra charge to you) when you make a purchase through them. I broke this list down into the most popular nonfiction book categories to make it easier to browse. I’ve also embedded a preview whenever available. Some of these books are only available in print, though, because they are graphic-heavy and don’t translate well to an ebook.

1. Everything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook

 Everything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook | Good Nonfiction Books for 7th Graders to Read

2. Girls Think of Everything:  Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

best books for a 7th grade book report

3. Rocket Science for the Rest of Us

Rocket Science for the Rest of Us  Good Nonfiction Books for 7th Graders to Read

4.  Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects: Build * Invent * Create * Discover

Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects: Build * Invent * Create * Discover

5.  Super Earth Encyclopedia 

Super Earth Encyclopedia 

Computers & Technology

6.  the way things work now.

The Way Things Work Now

7.  Get Coding!

Get Coding!

8.  The LEGO Power Functions Idea Book

The LEGO Power Functions Idea Book

9.  Coding Games in Scratch

Coding Games in Scratch

10. Minecraft Guide Collection

Minecraft Guide Collection

11.  Harry Potter – A Journey Through A History of Magic

Harry Potter - A Journey Through A History of Magic

12.  Four Perfect Pebbles: A True Story of the Holocaust

best books for a 7th grade book report

13.  The Boy Who Became Buffalo Bill: Growing Up Billy Cody in Bleeding Kansas

best books for a 7th grade book report

14.  Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions: You Can Build Yourself 

Leonardo da Vinci is the grandfather of pretty much every amazing discovery and invention. In this book by Maxine Anderson , tweens first learn about the times in which da Vinci lived and what inspired him to create such revolutionary (at least back then) inventions. Then, they can try their hand at making some of his simpler creations themselves using common household supplies!

15.  1001 Inventions and Awesome Facts from Muslim Civilization

1001 Inventions and Awesome Facts from Muslim Civilization

16.  The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection

best books for a 7th grade book report

17.  The Future Architect’s Handbook

The Future Architect's Handbook

18.  Legends, Icons & Rebels: Music That Changed the World

Legends, Icons & Rebels: Music That Changed the World

19.  National Geographic Kids Guide to Photography

National Geographic Kids Guide to Photography

20.  National Geographic The Photo Ark

The Photo Ark

It was hard to narrow down the vast sea of good nonfiction books for 7th graders, but these are my top picks for each category. While many of them are written for kids from 9-12, I picked books that weren’t too “little kiddie” so that they would appeal to preteens.

Do you know of any other good nonfiction books for 7th graders to read? Share with me below so I can check it out!

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Imagination Soup

Great Nonfiction Books for 7th Graders

This post may contain affiliate links.

Find the best nonfiction books for 7th graders (12-year-olds in 7th grade) with this book list of highly recommended nonfiction books for middle-grade young readers.

It’s essential that kids read a variety of genres, including nonfiction. This list will help!

nonfiction books for 7th graders 12 year olds

Nonfiction Books for 7th Graders

best books for a 7th grade book report

Never Caught, The Story of Ona Judge: Young Readers Edition  written by Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Kathleen Van Cleve This is a VERY well-written narrative nonfiction book.  At age 10, Ona becomes Martha Washington’s personal slave.  After 13 years of this thankless work with no pay, no days off, and no freedom, Ona learns that Martha plans to send Ona as a “gift” to Martha’s unkind granddaughter. Ona escapes north with the help of other freed slaves living in the city. Washington is so mad he wants to break his own law —the fugitive slave act— by capturing her without a trial and returning her to his wife. But that doesn’t happen, and even though Ona lives in poverty with many losses, she lives free.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation  adapted by Ari Folman, illustrated by David Polonsky The diary bits and dialogue are well-balanced into a cohesive graphic novel story that feels seamless, well-written, and insightful.  Anne’s personality really shines through as she sets the historical context and describes her daily life in hiding which isn’t always very exciting but does result in a romance with the boy her age who lives there, too.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Escape from Alcatraz: The Mystery of the Three Men Who Escaped From the Rock  by Eric Braun What an interesting nonfiction book for 12-year-olds! The author puts together the background and plans of each of the men who escaped from the inescapable prison of Alcatraz. Photographs throughout add realism to the historical events.

best books for a 7th grade book report

The Mona Lisa Vanishes: A Legendary Painter, a Shocking Heist, and the Birth of a Global Celebrity   written by Nicholas Day, illustrated by Brett Helquist You will love the incredible writing, the fun illustrations, the biographical information about the curious, brilliant, and distractable Leonardo Da Vinci, and the other art heists from the poorly guarded Louvre . Interestingly, the Mona Lisa wasn’t a well-known painting until this art heist in 1911. And the Louvre wasn’t well-attended until after this dramatic theft. The theft was dramatic because the thief simply walked out with the stolen painting tucked under his shirt. A highly recommended book!

best books for a 7th grade book report

The Making of America: Susan B. Anthony  by Teri Kanefield Susan B. Anthony worked tirelessly to advocate for women’s rights and the rights of African Americans . Anthony was raised as a Quaker and highly educated which was rare for girls at the time. She even went to seminary for a short time until her family’s financial situation changed her direction. Because of her, women can own property, vote, divorce abusers, have custody of their children, and are citizens because of the efforts of Susan B. Anthony and others. I hope this book becomes required reading for middle schoolers — both boys and girls. It’s also beneficial for kids to know how much one person can do to make a difference in the world.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Girl CEO Priceless Advice from Trailblazing Women  by Ronnie Cohen and Katherine Ellison The 40 fascinating female biographies in this book will inspire your girls and boys to see their dreams as possibilities. Because many of the CEO (chief executive officer) girls and women in this book are also entrepreneurs that came up with their own original ideas for a company. Each featured story contains illustrations, an important quote, and 3-4 pages about the woman which reflect the authors’ depth of research and personal interviews with the women.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Black Heroes of the Wild West  by James Otis Smith This exceptional graphic novel contains three compelling biographies of little-known historical black individuals who lived during the Old West . Smith is an exceptional storyteller and you’ll be pulled into the stories immediately. Read about Stagecoach Mary, a former slave who had the most interesting life that included many jobs, and Bob Lemmons whose horse training skills helped him capture a wild mustang stallion.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Issac The Alchemist Secrets of Issac Newton, Reveal’d  by Mary Losure Newton had a difficult childhood but his curiosity and genius were always present throughout his life. After living at an apothecary, for several years he had a chance to go to the university, and eventually, Newton became one of the world’s most well-known scientists, the father of physics. I highly recommend this for a narrative nonfiction reading choice.

best books for a 7th grade book report

The Tapir Scientists Saving South America’s Largest Mammal  written by Sy Montgomery, photographs by Nic Bishop Best for upper elementary or middle school, the writing in The Tapir Scientist is excellent, making for an enjoyable read. Montgomery shares about the scientists who are studying the tapirs and makes their work, their struggles, and their successes interesting to readers. You’ll get an in-depth look at what life for a scientist is like, the day-to-day experience.

best books for a 7th grade book report

The Big Book of Monsters: The Creepiest Creatures from Classic Literature   written by Hal Johnson, illustrated by Tim Sievert Learn about the scariest monsters from literature! Packed full of information,  The Big Book of Monsters  features 25 monsters from many cultures , some as ancient as you can imagine starting with Apep who comes from The Book of the Dead, 16th Century BC. Like all the monsters in this book, you’ll read who he is (Yikes!) and then supporting information in a “Beyond the Book” section which in this case is about translating the hieroglyphics and Egyptian short stories.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Becoming RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Journey to Justice  written by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Whitney Gardner  Introduce young readers to the fascinating life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg with this clearly-written graphic novel that shows her life from childhood to adulthood including her family life.  Based on her experiences and quest for fairness, Ginsburg became passionate about civil liberties, specifically gender discrimination. Not only was she a lawyer and judge but she also became a Supreme Court Justice. Readers will see how Ginsburg was true to herself and her goals and persisted despite difficulties and used her career to fight for equal rights. Well-crafted and highly recommended.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World  by Pénélope Bagieu Brazen stands out among the crowd because it is written in comic stories rather than the expected one page of expository text plus one illustration.  Kids love stories. Kids love graphic novels. Put those together and you’ve got one must-read book! Oh, and I’m fascinated by the colors used to illustrate these comics — they’re unusual and very visually appealing. Some of these stories will be familiar (Temple Grandin) but most of them will be new to you (Clementine Delait, Nzinga, or Sonita Alizadeh.)

best books for a 7th grade book report

Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life  by Kwame Alexander First, there are essays with life lessons. Then, there are quotes from famous athletes and artists along with the Rules written by Kwame Alexander. The one that stuck out to me the most was Rule #30, “There is no single formula for winning but you must have a game plan” accompanied by the quote “ I never worry about the problem. I worry about the solution. ” – Shaquille O’Neal. But imagine reading this with kids, each child will find something that will stand out.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport  by Emma Carlson Berne Memorable, gripping short stories tell about some of the 10,000 children who escaped the Nazis without their parents, traveled to England, and lived with host families until the war was over. Some were reunited with families while others were not, but they were all saved.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Survivors of the Holocaust: True Stories of Six Extraordinary Children  by Kath Shackleton, illustrated by Zane Whittingham Read about sixordinary kids who experienced the hardest things a child could face…being torn from their homes, separated from family, captured as a prisoner, and/or forced to hide. Graphic storytelling with unique artwork supports the clear, compelling narratives that will stay with you. It’s pretty sad to witness the tragedies in these children’s lives.  Powerful, emotional, and deeply disturbing that leaves us with a sense of loss, even with these children’s survival.  We need more books like this. We must never forget. Buy this book for your classrooms and libraries!

best books for a 7th grade book report

The Notorious Benedict Arnold  by Steve Sheinkin If only all nonfiction books for children were this engaging and well-written! This reads like a story, a narrative. Thank you, Mr. Sheinkin!

best books for a 7th grade book report

Bomb: The Race to Build –and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon  by Steve Sheinkin Another knock-out nonfiction book from the talented Steve Sheinkin perfect for 12-year-olds! I’m so impressed with how Sheinkin makes this story come ALIVE like it’s an adventure/mystery/thriller and not real life. Well, they do say truth is stranger than fiction. But usually, it’s written like it’s duller than dirt. This book is a great exception — totally engaging and keeps readers’ attention.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods  by Rick Riordan, illustrated by John Rocco My kids can’t stop reading and rereading this enormous volume of Greek myths, retold Riordan style — I’m talking laugh-out-loud style. Remember all the hilarious chapter titles in Riordan’s Percy Jackson books? And the witty, sarcastic voice of Percy? Yup. All here. 12-year-olds will GET this humor.

best books for a 7th grade book report

The Way Things Work Now From Levers to Lasers, Windmills to Wi-Fi, a Visual Guide to the World of Machines Revised and Updated  by David Macaulay with Neil Ardley You won’t believe how much there is in this illustrated 400-page informational guide to the inner workings of machines and devices! It starts with simple machines and moves on to more complex machines and technology such as helicopters, digital videos, electric circuitry, automatic transmission, and even the Internet. I think it would take months, if not years, to read everything in this enormous, updated book. A must-own for schools and libraries.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Girl Activist: Winning Strategies from Women Who’ve Made a Difference  by Louisa Kamps, Susanna Daniel &  Michelle Wildgen, illustrated by Georgia Rucker Read short biographies about women who have taken a stand against injustice of some kind ; injustices like the conditions of migrant farmworkers (Dolores Huerta) or forced marriages of young girls (Sonita Alizadeh) or polluted, toxic tap water (LeeAnne Walters). These 40 inspirational women demonstrate how one individual can change things for the better because they care. Readers will learn how each woman used different strategies whether social media, art, protest, petitions, or something else.

books for teen readers

Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian’s Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive  by Laura Hillenbrand Louis Zamperini’s life is almost unbelievable. In his early years, he was a hoodlum, then he became an Olympic runner, and most memorably, an airman who was shot down. His story shows that he is a man who has great strength of character (growth mindset) to persevere despite all of life’s challenges.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Boys in the Boat (Young Readers Adaptation): The True Story of an American Team’s Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics  by Daniel James Brown It’s hard to imagine overcoming as many obstacles as Joe Rantz (homelessness included) but he is determined to get a college education. He and his crew teammates are also determined to be the best rowers but they never expected to beat the Germans. This is an exemplary true story of grit that will inspire your 12-year-olds.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Race Against Death  by Deborah Hopkinson Zippy pacing with dialogue from first-person accounts,  character arcs , and a true story arc makes this nonfiction book read like a narrative story. It’s well-organized and meticulously researched about what happened in the Philippines during World War II  when the Phillippines fell to the Japanese, the US and Philippine soldiers and citizens were taken into horrific Prisoner of War camps. Notably, this book shares the contributions of women, including their underground resistance, which many books ignore.

Note: This is about the violence of war and includes soldier language (damn, bastards), but it’s not detailed or salacious and is appropriate for middle-grade readers who aren’t bothered by either.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Plague Busters! Medicine’s Battles with History’s Deadliest Diseases  by Lindsey Fitzharris and Adrian Teal Well-written and fascinating, in this nonfiction book, middle grade readers will learn about the deadliest diseases throughout history, from The Black Death to Scurvy.  Each disease is explored in a full chapter with stories of people affected, remedy options (which were generally quite awful!), the history of the disease, including inventions and innovations in understanding and treatment, and famous deaths from the disease. You’ll read about people like Louis Pasteur, who found a treatment for rabies (a deadly disease from which Edgar Allen Poe died), and John Snow, who figured out how cholera was spread.

best books for a 7th grade book report

Human Body Learning Lab: Take an Inside Tour of How Your Anatomy Works  by Betty Choi, M.D. Colorful pages with kid-friendly writing, illustrations, diagrams, labels, photos, and more add up to my new favorite book on the  human body !  Start reading about the body’s cellular building blocks and continue reading about subjects like the circulatory system, respiratory system, nervous system, the five senses, the reproductive system, and more. Written by pediatrician Dr. Betty Choi. I absolutely love this book!

best books for a 7th grade book report

Norse Mythology: Enter a world of gods, giants, monsters, and heroes  written by Tom Birkett, illustrated by Isabella Mazzanti Each of the 30  Norse  featured characters has its own dynamically illustrated portrait along with a full page of descriptive information  explaining the character’s background, skills and features, and a story. Whether it’s Loki in the lava-filled fortress, the Valkeries watching over every battle in the world, or Gullveig moving between homes and teaching women magic arts, you’ll meet gods and monsters in the middle of their stories.

best books for a 7th grade book report

The Screaming Hairy Armadillo and 76 Other Animals with Weird, Wild Names  written by Matthew Murie and Steve Murrie, illustrated by Julie Benbassat Get ready for funny names, magical names, fierce names, delicious names, and weird names. Like the striped pyjama squid which is a cool-looking stripped squid. Or the yeti crab which is a crustacean with hairy arms. Each animal has at least one illustration, sometimes more than one, and sometimes a photograph. Fantastic!

nonfiction books for 7th graders 12 year olds

You Might Also Like:

ALL Nonfiction Book Recommendations for Kids

Fiction Book Recommendations for 7th Graders / 12 Year Olds

Book Series for 7th Graders

Nonfiction Reading Comprehension Strategies


All Picture Book Biographies

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Melissa Taylor, MA, is the creator of Imagination Soup. She's a mother, former teacher & literacy trainer, and freelance education writer. She writes Imagination Soup and freelances for publications online and in print, including Penguin Random House's Brightly website, USA Today Health, Adobe Education, Colorado Parent, and Parenting. She is passionate about matching kids with books that they'll love.

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Books to challenge gifted 7th grade readers

by: The GreatSchools Editorial Team

Print book list

Little Women

Little Women

by: Louisa May Alcott - (Roberts Brothers, 1868) 816 pages.

The hook: It’s the Civil War and the four March sisters are struggling to grow up to be well-bred young ladies after their family has fallen on hard times. Pretty Meg, the oldest, finds it the hardest to be poor. Tomboy Jo has big dreams of becoming a writer. Kind Beth just wants a quiet life at home with her sisters. And impish Amy struggles with being impulsive and a bit vain. Holding them all together is Marmie, their wise and independent mother, who lovingly guides them as they change from girls to women while their father is away at war. This family story is a great read-aloud book for younger kids and a good challenge for tweens who want to tackle a longer read.

Want to see the movie? There are several versions to choose from, including the classic 1949 adaptation starring Elizabeth Taylor.

Perfect for : Tweens and teens who like stories about family dynamics.

Find our favorites at your local library: Little Women , Little Men , Jo’s Boys .

The Great Fire

The Great Fire

by: Jim Murphy - (Scholastics Paperbacks, 2010) 144 pages.

Young readers will rapidly burn their way through this scorching account of the Chicago Fire of 1871, ignited on a dry day in Patrick and Catherine O’Leary’s barn. In 31 hours, the inferno nearly incinerated the entire Windy City, leaving 98,500 homeless. The torrid narrative provides a flame-by-flame account of the blaze’s destructive path, with vivid eyewitness quotes, and searing details: firefighters rushed to assist from as far away as Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Social causes are also examined —the out-of-control conflagration was aided by the sad fact that Chicago was entirely built out of wood. Includes city maps, drawings, archival photos, engravings, and feverish chapter titles, such as “The Dogs of Hell Were Upon the Housetops.”

Perfect for: Disaster fans, those interested in Chicago or cities’ history.

Find The Great Fire at your local library.

A Wizard of Earthsea- The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1

A Wizard of Earthsea: The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1

by: Ursula Le Guin - (Parnassus Press, 1968) 183 pages.

This is high fantasy, written by a master, one of the great works of young adult literature of the 20th century. So what keeps the pages turning? For turn they do — this thoughtful and thought-provoking novel hasn’t stayed in print for 40 years for nothing. It’s all in the details, the gradual unfolding and perfecting of another world, with its own rules and geography and magic.

Perfect for: Kids who like science fiction and fantasy.

Find A Wizard of Earthsea: The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1 at your local library.


An Inconvenient Truth

by: Al Gore - (Viking Juvenile, 2007) 192 pages.

This version of An Inconvenient Truth is an adaptation for younger readers of the 2006 bestseller and Oscar-winning documentary by the same name. The juvenile and teen edition contains simplified text enhanced by dramatic photographs, illustrations, and graphs. Al Gore suggests that the global-warming crisis provides an opportunity for change through four simple steps. A head start on environmentalism and a must-read for kids and their parents. Highly recommended.

Perfect for: Kids who like science and nature.

Find An Inconvenient Truth at your local library.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias- The Making of a Champion

Babe Didrikson Zaharias: The Making of a Champion

by: Russell Freedman - (Clarion Books, 1999) 192 pages.

This is an uplifting sports bio for tweens and up. Parents need to know that Babe struggles with prejudice against women. Written with verve that matches Babe’s personality, this true story will encourage young readers, especially those interested in sports. Families who read this book could discuss how Babe’s discipline helped her win at a time when women were not accepted in sports. Why were woment treated this way? How have things changed? Do they need to change more?

Perfect for: Kids who like to read about real people.

Find Babe Didrikson Zaharias: The Making of a Champion at your local library.

Brian's Winter

Brian’s Winter

by: Gary Paulsen - (Delacorte Press, 1996) 144 pages.

In the Newbery Honor book, Hatchet, 13-year-old Brian Robeson learned to survive alone in the Canadian wilderness, armed only with his hatchet. As millions of readers know, he was finally rescued at the end of the summer. In this sequel to Hachet, Paulsen imagines our hero as if he hadn’t been rescued, revisiting Brian at the onset of a punishing Canadian winter and portraying him surviving a winter in the wilderness. This book easily stands alone; one need not read Hatchet first, although it does make for an interesting discussion. Full of cliffhangers and tension, this is the perfect winter read for the adventurous child in your life.

Perfect for: Kids who like adventure stories.

Find Brian’s Winter at your local library.

Earth children series

Earth Children series

by: Jean M. Auel - (Crown Publishers, 1980)

The hook: Auel’s meticulous research of the Ice Age period really makes this six-book series come to life. Readers are vividly transported back to primeval times some 35,000 years ago. Ayla, a 5-year-old Cro-Magnon girl, is adopted by a Neanderthal medicine woman, much to the objection of her Neanderthal tribe: the Clan of the Cave Bear. Though often terrifying and brutal, the books’ psychological drama make Ayla’s story from childhood to adulthood an emotionally gripping odyssey of a courageous heroine. Parents and readers should be advised, however, that there is some graphic sexual content in these books.

Perfect for: Teens curious to taste life in the (very) olden days.

Find our favorites at your local library: The Clan of the Cave Bear , The Valley of Horses , The Mammoth Hunters .


Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Biography

by: William Anderson - (HarperCollins, 1992) 256 pages.

Chronicles the adventurous life of the Little House on the Prairie author. Includes her heritage and birth, personal traumas not revealed in her books, and photos. Ideal for anyone who read all the Little House books. Written in a sympathetic style that conveys the appealing courage of this intrepid writer and pioneer.

Find Laura Ingalls Wilder: A biography at your local library.

The Snow Goose

The Snow Goose

by: Paul Gallico - (Knopf, 1941) 64 pages.

In Paul Gallico’s classic tale, the appearance of an injured snow goose fosters an unexpected friendship between a girl and her neighbor — a hunchbacked artist who has retreated from society. Their friendship develops over the years into love, but their romance is cut short when he is killed during wartime. Though the language and story are a bit dated (it was written in 1941), The Snow Goose is a wonderful start for the next generation’s fans of classic, star-crossed romances.

Perfect for: Kids who likes classic stories.

Find The Snow Goose at your local library.

The Winter Room

The Winter Room

by: Gary Paulsen - (Laurel Leaf, 1989) 112 pages.

The winter room is where Eldon, his brother Wayne, old Uncle David and the rest of the family gather on icy-cold Minnesota nights, sitting in front of the stove. There the boys listen eagerly to all of Uncle David’s tall tales of bygone loggers. When the boys begin to doubt their uncle’s stories, he stops telling them altogether, until they discover something special about him. Modern day mythology filled with incredible descriptive scenes.

Find The Winter Room at your local library.

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  1. 7th Grade Summer Reading List (Ages 12

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  2. 50 Must-Read Books for Seventh Graders

    best books for a 7th grade book report

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  4. Author Robin King, Blog: Top 20 Books for Your Middle-Grader (ages 8-12

    best books for a 7th grade book report

  5. 7th Grade Summer Reading List (Ages 12

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  6. The Best Books To Read In 7th Grade

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  2. “Gettysburg. Wow.” -Donald Trump and also Jon Stewart’s 7th grade book report #shorts

  3. How to Write a Book Report for 7th Grade and Up

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  1. The Best Book-Report Books for Middle Schoolers

    My Name Is Not Easy. age 12+. Fascinating story of Alaskan kids growing up in the 1960s. By: Debby Dahl Edwardson (2011) See full review. Common Sense Media editors help you choose The Best Book-Report Books for Middle Schoolers. Find fiction, nonfiction, and memoirs perfect for engaging kids.

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    Published: May 5, 2020. Siblings Cash, Fitch, and Bird move through the daily trials of pre-teen life in the 1980's. Fitch and Bird are twins who are now in the same grade as their older brother, Cash — because Cash was held back in the seventh grade. Bird is a space aficionado and dreams of being an astronaut.

  3. Must-Read 7th Grade Books: A Book List for Teachers & Homeschoolers

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  5. 50 Must-Read Books for Seventh Graders

    Seventh Grade. Seventh grade is a time of growing pains for many students, a time of growing up and sometimes growing apart from friends. It's a time of forging one's own path and finding your own way in the world. Middle grade fiction, especially novels, tends to reflect this transition time in children's lives. 1. Sisters . by Raina ...

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    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. A classic for a reason—amazing quotes, spunky female main character, sci-fi magic. Join Meg, Calvin, and her little brother Charles Wallace as they travel across time to rescue her father. The graphic novel version is absolutely amazing, as well. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.

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    The Wednesday Wars by Gary D Schmidt. Told over the course of one year between 1967 and 1968 in Long Island, this novel follows Holling, a seventh-grader who juggles his home life, getting into trouble at school and growing up amid the backdrop of the Vietnam War. Great to read in one sitting.

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  13. Great 7th Grade Books (Ages 12

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    Rat is a street girl who teaches Kaidu how to survive in the city. Together they save the city's leader from an assassination plot. The action and characters are compelling and complex, appropriate for middle schoolers in 7th grade. The Ruins of Gorlan: Ranger's Apprentice by John A. Flanagan. FANTASY.

  15. Classic childhood books for 7th graders

    The Mysterious Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. by: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - (Puffin Classics, 1996) 256 pages. Sherlock Holmes, a genius at detective work, is regularly beseeched by Scotland Yard to provide assistance in their most confounding crimes. Accompanied by Dr. Watson, who serves as the amazed narrator, Holmes untangles puzzling cases ...

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    The Ender quintet. by: Orson Scott Card - (Tor Books, 1985) 384 pages. The hook: In a desperate attempt to win a century-long war with an alien race, Earth breeds genetically modified geniuses to train as child soldiers. Ten-year-old Ender Wiggins excels at the simulated tactical war games used in military training.

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    5. Super Earth Encyclopedia. Super Earth Encyclopedia is perfect for tweens who love earth science. Throughout the 208 pages, they'll learn about things like volcanoes, crystal ice caves, how geysers work, and more. It's a DK book, so you know it's full of extraordinary graphics and easy-to-digest bits of information.

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  20. 7th Grade Reading List Books

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    The Winter Room. by: Gary Paulsen - (Laurel Leaf, 1989) 112 pages. The winter room is where Eldon, his brother Wayne, old Uncle David and the rest of the family gather on icy-cold Minnesota nights, sitting in front of the stove. There the boys listen eagerly to all of Uncle David's tall tales of bygone loggers.